The Coronavirus Pandemic has gripped the entire nation with more than 3.5 lakh people infected. Expectedly so, the demand for face masks, hand sanitizers, hand gloves and all are increased as people are now aware of ticking the right safety boxes to prevent themselves from getting infected. However, these products need to be effectively used in order to prevent COVID-19, specially the hand sanitizer, which has now become an alternative for handwashing with water and soap.
US CDC, United States federal agency for disease control and prevention, has underlined few norms on how and when to correctly apply the hand sanitizers.
Choose soap and water over sanitizers
As per the CDC, washing hands with soap and water whenever possible should be done as it prevents from all types of germs and chemicals on hands. Nonetheless, soap and water are more effective than hand sanitizers, which should only be used in case of emergency.
Choosing a correct sanitizer
If you end up using a sanitizer, make sure it has at least 60% alcohol as it can help you avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are more effective in reducing the number of microbes on hands and the ones with an alcohol concentration between 60–95% end up killing more germs. Others with less concentration merely reduce the growth of germs rather than killing them.
How to effectively apply a sanitizer
Apply the hand sanitizer on the palm of one hand and rub the product all over the surfaces of your hands until your hands are dry. Don’t use it in less amount and do not wipe it off before it has dried. According to CDC, sanitizers take about 30 second to kill any forms of germs and bacteria.
Using sanitizers in case of visibly dirty or greasy hands
While they work well for clinical settings like hospitals, hand sanitizers may not work well if hands are very greasy or soiled in community settings, such as after people eating/handling food, playing sports or garden work. In such cases, using soap and water is recommended.
In case of harmful chemicals, like pesticides
As per studies, hand sanitizers cannot remove or inactivate many types of harmful chemicals. If you have touched harmful chemicals, wash your hands properly with soap and water.
For the unversed, they can also cause alcohol poisoning if a person swallows it.
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