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During this global pandemic of COVID-19, hand sanitizers are in high demand. They’re an easy, portable way to clean your hands - perfect post-grocery shop, after touching something you shouldn’t and for ensuring you’re not unknowingly spreading germs around. But what’s actually in your hand sanitizer? Are your good efforts going to waste?
Firstly, it’s important to note that the best way to prevent the transmission of disease and germs is to wash your hands with soap and water. But when it comes to the next best thing - hand sanitizer - it’s important to note that not all sanitizers are created equally. The most common ingredient in regular hand sanitizer is ethanol. Ethanol, also known as ethyl alcohol, is used in the production of alcoholic drinks as the intoxicating agent. Ethanol works as an antiseptic to kill bacteria, assuming there is at least a 70 percent ethanol content in the product. The benefits of ethanol-based sanitizers are the price: they are cheap to produce, easy to get hold of and plus - they work.
However, it’s not the full picture. Here are three risks of using ethanol-based hand sanitizers.
1. They are toxic
The majority of hand sanitizers you find on the market are full of toxic chemicals. They have 70 percent pure ethanol and the other 30 percent are pure toxins. They’re scented to make your hands feel and smell clean, but these synthetic fragrances are made using phthalates, known endocrine disruptors.
The frequent use of products that disrupt your endocrine system can cause hormonal issues, fertility, immune suppression and cognitive downregulation; as examined in a review by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
2. They are poisonous
In March 2012, six teenagers were hospitalized with alcohol poisoning. Not from partying, but from hand sanitizer. The high alcohol content and frequent use can induce poisoning in some individuals.
3. They can suppress your immune system
Bacteria can be both good and bad. Bad bacterial exposure should be avoided, but some exposure can help you build resistance to infections and pathogens. To see this in practice, a 2011 study examined hand sanitizer use in a group of healthcare employees. Those who used sanitizer most frequently were six times more at risk for getting norovirus.
So what’s the solution? - Quaternary ammonium chloride based hand sanitizers.
You have probably never heard of this ingredient, but quaternary surfactants destroy the cell integrity of bacteria, this makes them extremely effective at killing bacteria. Plus, unlike ethanol-based hand sanitizers, quant-based sanitizers continue to stay active for up to 24 hours. In fact, the antimicrobial properties will remain even throughout hand washing to ensure all germs are removed. As quant-based sanitizers do not contain ethanol, they do not disrupt the endocrine system, affect the immune system or induce toxicity.
Pure South is a safe, water based surface sanitizer that kills bacteria on a range of surfaces including plastic, fiber, rubber and wood for up to 24 hours on touched surfaces and up to a whopping 30 days on untouched surfaces. Using this on your skin is safe, effective and non-toxic - what more could you ask for?