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Hand sanitizers

This article was originally published in The Rose Sheet

Executive Summary

"Consumers should be alerted to check the alcohol concentration in hand sanitizers because sub-standard products may be marketed to the public," Scott Reynolds, James Quillen Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Mountain Home, Tennessee, et al., conclude in March issue of CDC's Emerging Infectious Diseases. A 40% ethanol product that was obtained from a drugstore and claimed to reduce germs and bacteria by 99.9% was instead found to increase bacteria on hands, authors state. Reynolds et al. tested five hygiene treatments: tap water, 40% ethanol and commercial gels of varying concentrations. Each participant's dominant hand was placed on soy agar plates for five seconds, then treated and reapplied to a fresh plate. Tap water, 40% ethanol and 40% ethanol gel yielded "no significant reductions" in mean bacteria colony forming units, but a 40% gel that was supplemented with ethanol to a final concentration of 62% reduced CFU by 90%, authors find. Survey of 18 retailers found three stores of one discount chain offered a sub-standard product, which suggests that "poorer segments of the population may be more at risk of purchasing inadequate antiseptic gels," they say...
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