Thursday, January 4, 2007

Soap and water good sanitizers to clean hands - but gels maybe more realistic

Soap and water as good as sanitizers to clean hands
Reuters 1/4/07 "Dr Anthony Komaroff, editor of the Harvard Health Letter, said studies have shown that washing hands with soap and water for just 15 seconds removes 90 percent of bacteria -- but many people do not wash their hands often enough or dry them thoroughly...Komaroff said the latest alcohol-based gels sold as hand sanitizers can be a useful alternative to soap and water but people often underestimate how much they need to do the job..."You have to use several squirts out of a hand sanitizer and really make sure it covers all surfaces of your hands. Most people are pretty good about the palm but they're not as good about the back of the fingers and back of the hand,""

Not a lot of details in this Reuters article. It seems to me that soap and water might be great for home use, but in the outside world with slightly less hygienic bathrooms you touch a variety of surfaces before, during and esp. after washing and drying that might transfer germs. It must be more hygienic to skip the wash and dry and once out of the bathroom use the sanitizing gel with "several squirts" as the article mentioned. Anything on your hands from the whole bathroom experience should be rendered lifeless... one would hope. We think of bathrooms as being fairly nasty germ infested places but really it's those innocent looking doorhandles that are the evil germ exchangers and our penchant for handshakes.

There is something distinctly infantile about blogging about the basics of hand washing and hygiene... oh well.

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