It is surprising to know that between 10,000 and 10 Billion microorganisms are living on each hand. Hand sanitizers preclude illness by killing nearly every one of them. It has long been suggested that hands be washed with soap and hot water in numerous situations. Surgeons usually scrub their hands with antiseptic soap and hot water for a long time before wearing gloves. This shows the importance of hand cleaning since unless the gloves are perforated, the hands are protected. Laws require medical personnel and food handlers to wash their hands with soap and hot water before starting work and after visiting the restroom. |
Hand sanitizers are products that are intended for use when hand washing is impractical or impossible. Most hand sanitizers are made from an alcohol based gel that can be applied directly to the hand and scrubbed in and dried without the use of water. Do hand sanitizers preclude disease and illness? Since a material containing at least 60% alcohol by volume, and most hand sanitizers do, kills nearly 99% percent of all virus and bacteria that it comes into contact with, the answer would have to be a loud yes.
It is possible to go to extremes and there are several famous cases of people who have developed a "germ phobia" to the point that it has affected their whole life. It is impossible to kill every microorganism in every situation. Frequent hand washing and the use of hand sanitizers don’t really fall into the phobia classification. The hands are chief transmitters because they touch things. Our hands touch the food that is going into our bodies and in the case of food handlers other people's bodies.
Individuals who handle money like bank tellers and cashiers in department stores can be disease transmitters because they touch numerous objects that are passed to others. The use of hand sanitizers by people who have lots of touch contact with the public, combined with regular hand washing, would really prevent disease. The process is very simple. Hand sanitizers contain 60% of alcohol in a concentrated form - alcohol kills harmful microorganisms - microorganisms cause illness.
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