How Effective Are Hand Sanitizers?
Any time I go to a store, a restaurant, shake someone’s hand, touch a door handle or use any bathroom, I wash my hands (and, of course, use toweling to touch the door handle), but ALWAYS soak my hands in hand sanitizer. I’m sure that many of you are the same way. I found this 2009 article in the Wall Street Journal online about what “99.9% effective in killing germs” means. Interesting. Find this article at http://bit.ly/4spNI1 It was written by “numbers guy”
A decade of pesky germs, from SARS to avian flu to H1N1, has given rise to dozens of products bragging about their microbe-killing properties. Everything from hand-sanitizing liquids to products like computer keyboards, shopping carts and tissues tout that they kill 99.9%, or 99.99%, of common bacteria and fungi.
But some of these numbers look like the test scores in a class with a very generous grading curve. They often don’t include all pesky germs, and are based on laboratory tests that don’t represent the imperfections of real-world use. Human subjects, or countertops, in labs are cleaned first, then covered on the surface with a target bug. That is a far cry from a typical kitchen or a pair of grimy hands.
Ever notice that there are more commercials advertising antibacterial gels and related products? Every time I step into a grocery store there are antibacterial wipes for my shopping cart readily available. Or how about when you are waiting in line at the checkout stand? Chances are there’s a bin full of antibacterial products nearby. At the place where I work, there’s a Purel dispenser at every door entrance.
Is it excessive? No. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a germaphobe. And if something as simple as a modified strain of flu can take several lives, that’s enough proof to me that we need to have these products available to us at all times.
Here are some key locations to keep antibacterial products handy.
In your pocket! Think about all the things you touch and share with other people during the week. At work you come into contact with a number of co-workers and customers. You probably share the majority of office supplies and equipment, including computers, photocopiers, staplers, pens, with the entire company. On your days off you’re probably out doing chores. You’re touching door handles, shopping cart handles, toilet handles sink faucets in public restrooms, ATMs, meat at grocery stores. If you want to prevent yourself from contracting an infectious microbe, one rule of thumb to follow is that you sanitize after you leave each place you visit. You can do this by carrying around a small bottle of antibacterial gel that you can fit in your pocket or purse.
At your kitchen sink. If you do a lot of cooking at home, you want to disinfect your hands before you touch the food which you are about to serve yourself and others. That’s health 101. But here’s something else to think about. Imagine all the dirty dishes that you put into your sink. So, you have germs from both people’s mouths and from food particles that become exposed and start to rot over time. Now, think about the sponge that you touch every time you wash the dishes. Chances are you don’t swap out your sponges everyday. Microbes can live for days on moist surfaces, which your sponge most definitely is the majority of times. Make it a habit to rub your hands with some antibacterial gel after you wash your dishes, and you will greatly reduce your exposure to infectious germs.
At or near your dining room table. Our mouth being our largest orifice, it is the easiest path for dangerous microbes to take to get into our bodies. There is a reason why our parents pestered us about washing our hands before we ate, they didn’t want you to swallow down these microbes with your food! And if you’re a parent, you probably pester your own kids about washing their hands before they eat. But as you know, kids will seldom oblige to this request the first time. You probably have to tell them multiple times, or physically force them before they do it. Or they’ll simply lie about it. Sometimes you may even forget to tell your kids. Moreover, you as an adult, will sometimes fail to wash your hands before you eat. By having an antibacterial gel dispenser at your table, you will ensure that you and your family will have clean hands right before you serve the food, in case someone forgets or you suspect is lying about it.
Not Medical Advice
Everything in this blog is for entertainment and information only. It is NOT medical advice. Do not consider anything as medical advice and check with your physician before you take any action from any of our posts.
I'm not in medicine. I'm just a mild germaphobe sharing information that I find.