Does hand sanitizer really protect against Covid-19?

Does hand sanitizer really protect against Covid-19

Does hand sanitizer really protect against Covid-19?

As COVID 19 cases continue to wreak havoc on a global scale, we have had to change the way we view our health and wellness. This includes how we approach standards of cleanliness, particularly as more and more people return to the workplace. There have been many claims as to the effectiveness of hand sanitizer in preventing the spread of Covid-19. Is there any proven science behind it, or is hand washing alone sufficient? According to health regulatory bodies, hand sanitizer as a means to contain and prevent the spread of disease gets a resounding “yes”.

Is hand sanitizer safer than soap?

The golden standard for preventing diseases is consistent, and thorough hand washing. However, if soap and water are not available, then sanitiser is extremely valuable in preventing infection. While it doesn’t kill all germs, it does offer 99.99% protection against unhealthy microbes that we pick up everywhere. This can range from our mobile phones to door handles.

It is the alcohol in hand sanitizer that has the greatest effect on viruses. It denatures the protein in microbes, killing them within 30 seconds! This is according to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition to regular hand washing, sanitizer should be used on surfaces as well. Particularly in a workplace that employs much staff. In fact, government requirements for hand sanitizer stipulate that it should be made freely available to all staff. Additionally, it should contain an alcohol percentage of at least 60%. This is in line with the FDA and WHO approved formula for hand sanitizer.

For hand sanitizer to remain effective, follow these guidelines set out by the FDA below:

  • Choose a hand sanitiser that has an alcohol content of at least 60%. The more alcohol that the sanitiser contains, the more effective it is.
  • Only purchase certified hand sanitiser from a reputable supplier.
  • Store hand sanitiser in a cool, dry place.
  • Don’t worry about using hand sanitiser sparingly, you should apply it rigorously and all over the hands.
  • Be aware that a hand sanitiser with high alcohol content is flammable.
  • Apply sanitiser onto the skin and surfaces at least every 30 minutes to one hour.

The rapid rate at which Covid-19 has been shown to spread means that the only way we can ensure safety is by strictly adhering to approved formulas and strategies, developed by reputable health regulatory bodies and backed by science.

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