A hand sanitizer or hand antiseptic is a supplement or alternative to hand washing with soap and water.

Many preparations are available, including gel, foam, and liquid solutions. The active ingredient in hand sanitizers may be isopropyl alcohol (isopropanol), ethanol, n-propanol, or povidone-iodine.

Inactive ingredients in alcohol rubs typically include a thickening agent such as polyacrylic acid for alcohol gels, humectants such as glycerin for liquid rubs, propylene glycol, and essential oils of plants.

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are more effective at killing microorganisms than soaps and do not dry out hands as much.

  • The safe side of using a hand sanitizer……!!!

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), 80 percent of common infections, including the H1N1 flu virus, can be spread through contaminated hands.

That’s why the PHAC and the World Health Organization (WHO) are stressing proper hand hygiene as an important first-line defense against the spread of swine flu.

While proper hand washing technique is a vital part of keeping yourself healthy, good old soap and water aren’t always around when you need them (say, when you get an unexpected hug from a runny-nosed preschooler on the playground).

That’s where alcohol-based sanitizers come to the rescue. The PHAC recommends hand sanitizers that contain between 60 and 80 percent alcohol as “an excellent” way to clean your hands when you’re not near a sink.

If your hands aren’t actually grimy, the best way to clean them is to use hand sanitizer, says James Scott, a microbiologist at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health.“[A sanitizer] cleans your hands much better than soap and water, so it reduces the bacterial burden to a much greater extent than soap and water,” he says. “And your hands tend to stay cleaner longer than if you were to use soap and water.”

The idea that frequent use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers will make bacteria resistant to treatment is bogus, Scott stresses. “The [way sanitizers work] is based on cell-membrane disruption by the alcohol, and that’s not something that bacterium can acquire resistance to. It’s not physically possible,” he says.

To use a hand sanitizer effectively, make sure your hands are free of visible grime and dirt before applying the product. Then, apply a palm-full of product and rub vigorously for 20 to 30 seconds, making sure to distribute the sanitizer between your fingers, under your nails and jewelry, on your wrists and on the backs of each hand. When your hands are dry, you’re good to go.

Never rinse your hands with water or wipe them with a towel after using a hand sanitizer—this will counteract the effect of the product.

  •  There are a bad effects of using hand sanitizers also

Over 76% of antibacterial washes contain the ingredients triclosan and/ortriclocarban. (These toxins can also be found in many toothpastes, deodorants, antiseptic and burn creams, dish soaps, dehumidifiers, floor mops, flooring, food warmers, and mouthwashes as well as plastic kitchen utensils, computer keyboards and mice, shoes and sandals, and toys labeled as “antibacterial” or using the trademark Microban®.)

They are rapidly absorbed through the skin and have also been shown to inhibit both skeletal and cardiac muscle function at a cellular level. Mitochondria are the powerhouse or energy production source within our cells. Babies and children who have mitochondrial weakness or vulnerability who use these chemicals can suffer mitochondrial dysfunction or impairment because these chemicals interfere with the fluidity of the inner mitochondrial membrane.

Use of antibacterial washes can lead to development of resistant bacteria. They kill off friendly bugs that protect us from infection. The CDC did a study that found triclosan in urine of 75% of Americans aged 6 and older. Those levels undoubtedly have a correlation to the increase in strains of resistant bacteria on and in our bodies and our environment.

Many washes also contain dyes and other ingredients that can be absorbed through the skin and cause allergic reactions and sensitivities that lead to behavioral reactions in children.

However the newest study has been found out that hand sanitizers are not a better solution instead of washing hands with water and soap

You may be surprised to learn that hand sanitizer is not actually healthy for your skin.

In this video from DNews, host Tara Long explains why you should stop using hand sanitizer immediately.

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