It’s the season of hand sanitizers. Local establishments frequented by parents are peppered with moms and dads chasing their children around with mini bottles of the clear goo. It’s a must have tool for fending off the common cold and a host of other seasonal ailments. Or is it? What’s the truth about hand sanitizers? Are they effective and are they safe?
Hand Sanitizer Effectiveness
Hand sanitizers claim to be 99.9 percent effective at removing germs but studies have shown that this isn’t necessarily the case, according to About.com. When tests are done to check for the removal of germs, they aren’t done on hands because hands are too complex. Studies are instead done on inanimate objects, which offer unrealistic results. Barbara Almanza, an associate professor at Purdue University has studied the topic extensively and she found that hand sanitizers may actually increase the amount of bacteria on the hand rather than decrease it.
“Waterless” products such as hand sanitizers are less effective at bacterial removal than their than regular soap and water and antibacterial products and soaps may actually be harmful. This is especially true for young children who don’t yet have fully developed immune systems. >