Hand Sanitizer: Know the Pros, Cons, Myth & Facts

Health and Lifestyle Jul 28, 2020
हैंड सैनिटाइजर : इस्तेमाल ,फायदे और नुकसान
हैंड सैनिटाइजर देखते ही देखते रामबाण बन कर उभरा है। ये 99.99% वायरस को मारने में सफल रहता है।पर सच क्या है
हिंदी में यह लेख(Hindi Version)

Life was moving very fast before the lockdown. I used to go to the office in the early hours of the morning and reach home till it was dark in the evening. But now things have changed a lot since the Coronavirus lockdown.

I can sit on the balcony for hours now and look outside. Sometimes people can be seen on their roof or on the streets, but only for some important work. But I can see one common thing everywhere, that is, a fear of Coronavirus and emphasis on cleanliness to curb it.

Everyone is always paying attention not to expose their hands to this dangerous virus. And even if it exposed by mistake, you can make it disappear with the help of a hand sanitizer.

In the blink of an eye, the hand sanitizer has emerged as an elixir in this Corona-era. Today every big company is producing it. And they are also claiming that it is successful in killing 99.99% of the viruses.

Such strong claims attracted me to it and gave me a reason to doubt it a bit.And the facts that I got to know about it really surprised me.

Now I am putting the same facts in front of you.


What are the ingredients of a hand sanitizer?

The main active ingredient in any hand sanitizer is alcohol (even though there are alcohol-free hand sanitizer as well, but for Coronavirus they claimed to be less effective). Hand sanitizer is considered effective only when the quantity of alcohol is more than about 60%. This quantity is required to eliminate the effects of the virus immediately. Ethanol or isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) is found in any hand sanitizer.

Hand sanitizers made by methanol can do more harm than good, so methanol is not used for it. Other ingredients could include glycerin, hydrogen peroxide, distilled water, and some fragrance.


Is hand sanitizer 99.99% effective?

You must have often heard in the advertisement of any company that their hand sanitizer kills 99.99% germs. And almost every company is claiming this. But this does not really happen. So are all these advertisements false?

No. But their truth is actually a half-truth.

In reality, experiments/tests conducted by these companies to claim 99.99% of germs killer hand sanitizers are conducted under controlled laboratory conditions and on an inanimate surface. But if we look at the surface anatomy of our hands, it is very complex. So if the experiment had been done on hands, the results would have been different. The number of viruses we are exposed to in real life is much higher than the balanced environment of laboratory tests.

That is why an asterisk mark of 'condition applied' is made on the hand sanitizer's claim of 99.99%.


Is hand sanitizer safe to use?

Hand sanitizer has emerged as a good choice in the absence of water and soap. The WHO has also been recommending adopting alcohol-based hand sanitizers during the Coronavirus period. But if we have the availability of water and soap, it is not right to give priority to hand sanitizer and the reasons are:

is hand sanitizer safe to use?
is hand sanitizer safe for us?
Most hand sanitizers contain isopropyl alcohol, which is removed in a short period of time when rubbed well. But if it enters the mouth or nose then it has a toxic effect in the body.
Ethanol is not harmful to the body, but even if the sanitizer is made primarily from ethanol, the rest of the chemicals in it can make it toxic.
If there is any kind of lubrication/oiliness/dirt in the hand, then the hand sanitizer does not affect the germs because the hand sanitizer is limited only to the upper surface and the germs stick to the inner surface.
Hand sanitizer contains a high amount of alcohol, so excessive use of it can be harmful for the children.

How does hand sanitizer work?

Hand sanitizers work to destroy the cells of microbes present in the body. They do not harm the cells of our body. A hand sanitizer with 70% alcohol is more effective than 100% alcohol and it is because of the water in it which increase the penetration activity.

Alcohol in hand sanitizers kills and destroys the external structures of the virus. To kill bacteria, it destroys their out surface cells.


Main Points

  • Hand sanitizer’s 99.9% virus removal claims are not completely true
  • .To wash hands, use as much water and soap as possible.
  • Constant use of hand sanitizer can also be dangerous for the body.
  • Hand sanitizer with more alcohol content is not good for children
  • If the hand sanitizer contains methanol, it should not be used. Only hand sanitizers containing ethanol or isopropyl should be used.

Source

https://www.utoronto.ca/news/do-hand-sanitizers-really-work

https://www.healthline.com/health-news/fda-says-avoid-9-hand-sanitizers-that-contain-toxic-methanol

https://www.thoughtco.com/alcohol-versus-ethanol-3976082

https://www.thoughtco.com/hand-sanitizers-vs-soap-and-water-373517

https://www.britannica.com/topic/hand-sanitizer


Bhupesh Pant

Writing is not just a passion but a lifestyle for me. I see a story in everything. I am on a journey to uncover stories in my own way.

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