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The Truth About Hand Sanitizers and Antibiotic Resistance

Hand sanitizerThere have been quite a few stories in the news lately about antibiotic resistance and the rise of “superbugs,” and it is true that resistance to antibiotics is a serious issue that may affect many people. However, many misunderstandings and rumors are spreading about the relationship between alcohol-based hand sanitizers and these super germs. Read on to read the truth about hand sanitizers and to separate fact from fiction.

Does hand sanitizer use contribute to the creation of super germs?

This is a common idea, but it simply is not true. The overuse of antibiotics can cause super bugs and resistant bacteria, but using hand sanitizer does not. Ethyl alcohol, the active ingredient in the majority of hand sanitizers, works very differently than antibiotics. This ingredient destroys germs within just seconds by killing the cell membrane and altering the bacteria’s proteins. Because ethyl alcohol acts so quickly, the germs don’t have a chance to develop a resistance to it.

Does hand sanitizer destroy good germs too?

Bad germs are transferred to the hands when they touch other objects, and they linger on the skin’s outer surface. This is why hand sanitizers can easily kill bacteria. The good germs that help keep you healthy actually live not on the skin’s surface, but within its different layers, and they are protected by hair follicles and pores. This means that hand sanitizers have only a very small, insignificant effect on these good germs.

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are an important component in the fight against germs. The number one way to prevent the transmission of bacteria is to practice good hand hygiene, and hand sanitizers make it easy to quickly and thoroughly clean the hands. To learn more about alcohol-based hand sanitizers, other healthy cleaning supplies in Boston and the best ways to promote their use in your facility, contact Banner Systems today!

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