Alcohol based or alcohol-free. Which sanitiser is the best solution?
We have our differences. But in the UK’s battle against COVID-19 we are undivided. Our fight is not only against a disease. We must keep the economy running. And we all agree that hand sanitiser is a top player when it comes to keeping us safe so that business can continue to function.
We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight in the hospitals, we shall fight on the construction sites, we shall fight in our homes and in the schools, we shall fight in the shops; we shall never surrender. (apologies to Sir Winston Churchill).
EN 14476 CERTIFIED HAND SANITISER: THE FIRST LINE OF DEFENCE FOR THE UK WORKFORCE
Hand sanitiser has a proven track record as a defence against both bacteria and viruses.
An American study from 20 years ago, involving 6,000 students across 4 states, showed an overall reduction in absenteeism of 19.8% in the groups that used an alcohol gel hand sanitiser on entering and leaving the classroom versus the control group that did not use hand sanitiser.
So, we know that hand sanitiser works; – but does it have to be alcohol based?
In this post we’ll examine the pros and cons of alcohol versus non-alcohol based hand sanitisers to help you find the best solution for your unique application.
TO FIGHT COVID-19, PUBLIC ENEMY NUMBER 1, LOOK FOR A PRODUCT THAT IS:
- EN 14476 certified
- Effective against COVID-19
- Proven to work against viruses
- Kind to the soft skin of young children
- Gentle for thin, mature skin (old people)
- Good for repeated applications through the day
- Residual protection (has a continued protective effect)
BUT YOU MIGHT NEED MORE FROM YOUR SANITISER
- Medical facilities
COVID-19 is not the only devious little germ around. Norovirus (the ugly one that causes stomach flu), various bacteria, and fungal infections are always in the wings waiting for a chance to propagate. So, it’s a good idea to have a broad spectrum hand sanitiser that can dispatch them before they gain any ground.
That’s why medical facilities – hospitals, dentists, surgeries etc. – choose a broad spectrum hand sanitiser that they can trust.
- Safety concerns for children and others
Some hand sanitisers are flammable. This is particularly dangerous if they’re to be used in an environment where there is the possibility of an open flame.
Toxicity is another issue. People have died from both accidental and deliberate ingestion of hand sanitiser. Some sanitisers are more dangerous than others.
- Size and price
User-friendly dispensers, pocket size, wall-mounted or on bollards, can encourage people to sanitise their hands.
Cases of personal dispensers, or easy-to-use refills can bring economies of scale to your purchasing.
HAND SANITISER COMPARISON CHART
|Properties||Medi9 alcohol free||Alcohol based|
|EN 14476 certified||yes||Some brands are|
|Effective against COVID-19||yes||yes|
|Proven anti-viral||yes||yes, for some viruses|
|Protects against Norovirus||yes||no|
|Skin-friendly for children||yes||no|
|Gentle for thin mature skin||yes||no|
|Apply many times daily||yes||no|
Medi9 was formulated about 10 years ago, and has been used by the NHS for the same period of time. We can see why.
- Medi9 hand sanitiser kills 99.9% of all germs on contact – including Ebola, Norovirus, Clostridium difficile and MRSA.
- Although it is sporicidal, virucidal and bactericidal, it is not a hazardous substance, which makes it ideal for use in day-cares, primary schools, and shops.
- Medi9 is gentle. Some work situations require constant and repeated applications of hand sanitiser. An electrical contractor told us that his hands were in excellent condition despite using Medi9 constantly.
- Medi9 provides residual protection.
ALCOHOL BASED HAND SANITISER
Alcohol based hand sanitizers have proved their worth in fighting various germs.
EN 14476 certification is a MUST for Cobrook hand sanitizers, so all alcohol based sanitizers we supply are EN 14476 certified.
However, they do have a few drawbacks:
- Swallowing just a tiny amount of hand sanitizer can cause alcohol poisoning in children. Alcohol based hand sanitizers are made with alcohol or rubbing alcohol (ethanol, ethyl alcohol, or isopropanol, isopropyl alcohol).
- Alcohol based hand sanitizers are flammable. Even from static electricity!
A Gassco employee used alcohol based hand sanitiser as recommended during the Corona pandemic. The person touched a metal surface before the liquid evaporated. Due to static electricity, the vapour from the hand sanitiser ignited with an almost invisible flame on both hands.
In spite of the victim’s quick action in getting to a sink to extinguish the flames, they still ended up with first and second degree burns.
See photo on the below.
- Research suggests that alcohols are swiftly germicidal when applied to skin, but have no noticeable persistent residual activity because alcohol evaporates quickly.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive alternative, our alcohol based hand sanitisers are a viable option. They offer protection against most germs, and with occasional use, their harsh effect on skin is negligible.
Like any chemical, care should be taken in its use and storage. (Gassco now posts flammable liquid warning signs on their hand sanitiser dispensing stations).
Where cost isn’t the main factor, we see Medi9 as the hands-down winner – for effectiveness, all-around safety and convenience.
Contact us, or give us a call 01572 868200