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Is It Time to Abolish the Army of Hand Sanitizers Among Us?

September 13, 2022
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Is It Time to Abolish the Army of Hand Sanitizers Among Us?

Hand sanitizer dispensers are everywhere. They have become a fixture in every American home and office. As the CDC relaxes its grip on post-inoculation Covid, should we stop the hand sanitizer madness?  Research yields lots of contradicting arguments, however this writer votes to continue the madness.

For those of you careful individuals who have not contracted Covid, have you also noticed that you have not contracted any virus including the common cold? Wearing masks, washing hands and pumping hand sanitizer has somehow worked.

The Covid virus exists in molecules protected by a layer of fat or oil. Soap and Hand Sanitizer break into that fat shell and destroy the virus. Each takes about 20 seconds (two happy birthdays sung out loud) to do its job.

Comparing the two – hand washing is always deemed superior to Hand Sanitizer. The main reason is that soap and water is better than alcohol in just wiping away dirt and grime. My argument is that how many times during the day (if you are above the age of 5) are your hands coated in dirt and grime?  Also using a bar of soap in a public bathroom previously used by hundreds of people to sanitize myself has always seemed counterintuitive. In other words, yuck!

So we come to the myth that hand sanitizers cause the appearance of Super Bugs that resist both soap and hand sanitizer. Actually, super bugs have been traced to hand washing with anti-bacterial soap that contains Triclosan – rarely used in hand soap anymore.

Another criticism of hand sanitizer is that it dries out and irritates skin. Take a good look at your hand sanitizer and you will find that it contains 60% ethyl alcohol and the rest is Aloe vera, well known for soothing skin.

Hand sanitizer is handy. A dispenser can be carried in your pocket while most sinks can not.

My last pro-hand sanitizer comment is that hand sanitizer stays on your hands far longer than two happy birthdays. It dries on your hands and stays there, as I imagine, smothering all germs and viruses.

This article does not oppose washing of hands. Both washing hands and the proliferation of hand sanitizer have played an important role in the battle against germs and viruses – a battle LACOSTA engages in every day.

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