Tuesday, February 21, 2017

How Effective is Hand Sanitizer?

There are a few standards that everyone keeps on them in their bag. Moisturizer, chapstick, and a bottle of hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer, with Purell being the eponymous brand name, is available in many public buildings, and some people use it following every touch of a door handle. Purell is a watery gel that is rubbed into one’s hands as a sanitizing agent in lieu of available soap and water. There are different types of hand sanitizer, but the active ingredient in Purell and many common brands is simply ethanol, which universally kills bacteria by dissolving their cell membrane and destroying proteins.

While hand sanitizer is known to be very effective at killing bacteria, for some people it serves as more of a security blanket in response to any and all skin contact. 
The question is, does the availability of hand sanitizer provide a false sense of sanitation?