Myths about Disinfectants & Hand Sanitizers you need to know

Are you using disinfectants and hand sanitizers correctly?  Doing it wrong can be deadly.

Disinfectants & Hand Sanitizers: What you need to know.

  1. Disinfectants take 10+ minutes to Kill Germs. Disinfectants requires several minutes to work. They need to stay on a surface for typically 10 minutes or more to work properly. Simply spraying and wiping a surface with a disinfectant will not work.
  2. Disinfectants are not effective on dirty surfaces.  Surfaces that are dirty or covered with other contaminants such as heavy dirt, skin oils, body fluids, blood, mucus, emesis (vomit), food and drink spills, human and animal waste, cooking oil and residue, smoke residue, motor oil and other similar contaminants, prevent disinfectants from working properly.
  3. Disinfectants are not designed to clean.  The chemicals used to disinfectants are used for their ability to kills bacteria and virus particle, and may not dissolve grease, break down heavy dirt, or cut through body fluids and oils, where germs can hide.
  4. Disinfectants do not remove germs. Disinfectants are not tested on their ability to remove the germs they might kill.
  5. Disinfectants are not Sanitizers. Disinfectants are designed to kills germs on  inanimate objects like sinks, counters, toilets and medical equipment. Sanitizers, typically limited to hand sanitizers for consumer use, kill germs on skin. But they can also cause skin irritation, burning and allergic reactions. Consumer grade hand sanitizers do not have to be sterile so use beyond hand sanitizing is not advised.
  6. Sanitizers take 20 seconds to work. Like disinfectants, sanitizers do not kill germs immediately, Even the best sanitizers take nearly 20 seconds to work. When using hand sanitizers, make sure you hand remain wet with sanitizer for a full 20 seconds, otherwise bacteria and viruses can remain.
  7. Hand Sanitizers are not Cleaners. Like disinfectants, hand sanitizers are not designed to clean dirty or contaminated surfaces. They simply are used to kill bacteria and viruses they are exposed too quickly. Germs embedded in skin oils, dirt, grease or bodily fluids will not be killed by hand sanitizers.Do not rely on Hand Sanitizers alone. In the aftermath of the 2011 Norovirus pandemic, the NHI (U.S. National Institutes of Health) conducted a study and found that healthcare workers who relied solely upon hand sanitizers were 6 times as likely to get the norovirus than those you used soap and water. They found that becasue hand sanitizers did not clean hands, it was likely that virus particles remained on the hands protected by dirt and skin oil hand sanitizer was not able to breakdown.

You may also want to read, How to disinfect properly.

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