Hand sanitizers can’t beat soap and water

The world we live in now is one of instant gratification, and anything that delays us is just… unacceptable!

You can fast-forward through television commercials… call ahead to have your Starbucks coffee waiting for you… and get your online purchases the very same day.

But there are some things that are worth taking the extra time for.

There’s no faster way to boil a pot of water… or even brush your teeth… and there’s nothing that will get your hands cleaner than rubbing them together with soap under running water for 20 seconds.

But even just a fraction of a minute is too long for some people, which explains the rise of hand sanitizers. Teachers use them… doctors and nurses cover themselves in them… and new mothers have practically got stock in the companies!

Hand sanitizers have been around for 40 years, and they only seem to be increasing in popularity. But after the passage of FOUR DECADES, it’s only now that medical authorities, like the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA), have decided to finally find out if they’re even safe to use.

While we wait the six months that manufacturers have to comment on the FDA’s request, and the additional year it’ll take them provide the data, I’ll make it easy for you.

They’re NOT safe!

For one, they’re 60 per cent alcohol (ethyl and isopropyl) – enough to intoxicate and even poison you – and not just if you accidentally drink it. You can actually absorb the alcohol content through your skin, which can have severe consequences especially for children or pregnant women.

And that’s on top of the skin and eye irritations that are also common.

You could switch to an alcohol-free version – but its active ingredient, triclosan, has been shown to disrupt hormones in animal studies.

Even the FDA has stated that the agency “does not have evidence that triclosan in antibacterial soaps and body washes provides any benefit over washing with regular soap and water.”

I would take that one step farther to say that these hand sanitizers are far worse, and you should avoid them altogether. They can make your skin MORE vulnerable to bacteria – including the antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” – and to chemicals like Bisphenol A (BPA), which are more easily absorbed through the skin when the good bacteria has been wiped out with the bad.

Even the US Centres for Disease Control (CDC) agrees that washing your hands with soap and water is best, but the agency also recommends using hand sanitizers when soap and water aren’t available.

But really – how many times are you ever in a situation when you can’t find ANY soap and water?

And if you really can’t, you’re likely to be within arm’s reach of a water bottle.

Sure, public restrooms sometimes run out of their liquid soap supply. But rather than reaching for the hand sanitizer every five minutes, you’re better off carrying a travel size bottle of soap.

Wishing you the best of health,

Dr. Glenn S. Rothfeld
Editor
Nutrition & Healing

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Sources:

FDA Seeks More Data on OTC Hand Sanitizers, medpagetoday.com/HospitalBasedMedicine/InfectionControl/58846?xid=nl_mpt_DHE_2016-07-01&eun=g1049033d0r

FDA requests additional information to address data gaps for consumer hand sanitizers, fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm509097.htm

Is Hand Sanitizer Toxic?, cnn.com/2013/10/16/health/hand-sanitizer-toxic-upwave/

Study: Using Hand Sanitizer Can Increase Absorption of Dangerous Chemical, atlanta.cbslocal.com/2015/06/15/study-warns-hand-sanitizer/

Hand Washing, cdc.gov/handwashing/

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  1. I don’t like the smell of these hand sanitizers. So, luckily I don’t use them. A squeeze of fresh lemon on your hands also does the trick.

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