Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizers Have an Impact on Decreasing the Spread of Germs in Homes

1/20/2015

Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizers Have an Impact on Decreasing the Spread of Germs in Homes
A study conducted by GOJO and independent researchers found that using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer significantly reduces the transfer of germs to both hands and commonly touched surfaces in the home.
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A study published in the Journal of Food and Environmental Virology, which was conducted by researchers at GOJO and the University of Arizona, found that the use of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer had a significant impact on reducing the movement and exposure of germs to household members by families at home. While it is commonly known that an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, like PURELL® Advanced Hand Sanitizer is proven to kill 99.99 percent of germs, this new study finds that these sanitizers also reduce the transfer of germs not only to hands, but also to commonly touched surfaces within a household by up to 99 percent.

This study found that germs can easily spread from one person’s hands to surfaces throughout a house including remote controls, door knobs and faucets within eight hours. The study also found that the use of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer both once and three times a day significantly reduced the concentration of germs on both the hands and commonly touched household surfaces in the studied households.

“We are currently in the height of winter-germ season, and this study brings to light the important role an alcohol-based hand sanitizer plays in reducing the spread of illness-causing germs,” said Sarah Edmonds, GOJO Senior Clinical Scientist. “As this study shows, germs can rapidly spread throughout a home both via the hands and commonly touched surfaces. Using an effective, well-formulated alcohol-based hand sanitizer significantly reduces the transfer of germs to the hands and to commonly touched surfaces within a home.”

“Germs are everywhere,” said Dr. Charles Gerba, University of Arizona professor and microbiologist. “Yet, by using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, we can significantly reduce the prevalence and the spread of these illness-causing germs. This study demonstrates that an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is one of best ways to reduce the risk of getting sick, especially during cold and flu season.”

It is important to remember to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer at key moments such as:

  • Before and after preparing food;
  • Before eating;
  • Before and after caring for someone that is sick or around someone who is ill;
  • After using the bathroom;
  • After sneezing or coughing; and
  • After touching anything that is in a high-traffic area that may have been touched by many different hands, such as the grocery cart handle, a phone or a handrail.  

“In addition, be sure to keep an alcohol-based hand sanitizer around the home in places such as the kitchen, bathrooms and nursery, as well as with you when you travel,” added Edmonds.

GOJO provides information and education on its GOJO website to help businesses promote hand hygiene as a wellness initiative at www.gojo.com/hand-hygiene-hub and for the public on the PURELL® Hand Sanitizer website at www.purell.com/coldandflu.