The End of Alcohol Sanitisers

The End of Alcohol Sanitisers

This is not news to those in the know, but many people are just now becoming aware of the limitations and indeed, dangers of using alcohol based sanitizing products. Public awareness is growing at the minute, due to the Irish government directing schools to stop using certain products containing methanol immediately. It is worth pointing out that schools had initially procured these products on the instruction of the government, and cannot be blamed for any damage done by the product.

The confusion around these types of products is understandable. At the beginning of this pandemic, we were all instructed to use hand sanitizer with a minimum of 70% alcohol in order to kill Corona Virus bacteria. I myself remember trying to purchase some through several sources, back in February, to discover that it was almost impossible to get, and what was available was at an extortionate price. This led me down an interesting research path to find alternatives and not the types of ‘bottle of vodka and a packet of j-cloths’ solutions touted on the internet! While it is true to say that if you are using alcohol as a sanitizer, the higher the alcohol percentage, the more effective it is seen to be, this does not mean that alcohol is the only effective substance against bacteria. A conversation with the father and son team heading up Aqua Air, near Liverpool in England opened my eyes to the benefits of using a viral disinfectant product. They have developed a product called ‘XtraProtect’, which is proven to be a far better option than alcohol in many ways, as it avoids all the pitfalls that come with alcohol.

Alcohol has been used as far back as the 1300s as an antiseptic substance and has long been known to kill bacteria. Alcohol as a hand sanitizer became commonplace in medical settings in the 1960’s, as it was accepted that the alcohol kills germs, and therefore could be used by doctors where soap and hand washing facilities were not readily available. This worked well in a clinical setting where medical instruments require sanitizing for each individual patient, but modern medicine has largely moved on, and most instruments are now single-use items, to avoid contamination. So alcohol sanitizer fulfilled a purpose in a particular environment. However, people now need to use sanitizer 24/7 throughout their daily lives…alcohol is just not practical in most settings, so how can we move forward with a better hand sanitising solution in this ‘new normal’? To be effective in infection control, a sanitiser should contain between 60-90% alcohol, usually in the form of ethanol, propanol, or isopropanol. Recent problems in the Irish market have involved sanitisers containing methanol. The FDA first issued warnings about the use of methanol-based sanitisers in mid-June, due to its toxic effects when absorbed through the skin or ingested. The effects range from people suffering seizures, to, in extreme cases, death. People are reporting damage to the skin, damage to surfaces, headaches, not to mention the fact that alcohol is a highly flammable substance.

This makes alcohol unsuitable in many places we are now expected to use it repeatedly. Supermarkets, schools, creches, even in our homes! The nature of the current pandemic means that we now require effective hand sanitizers in situations we never before considered. Every time we enter or leave a store we are asked to sanitize. Reports on the possible transfer of Corona Virus on the plastics and packaging that comes on every item we purchase are inconclusive, so people are encouraged to sanitize after handling such items. We should sanitize when using public transport, children should sanitize regularly in school. All this sanitizing would certainly damage the skin if using alcohol! We need a modern solution for this new problem we are faced with.

The good news is that we have come a long way since the 1300s, and even the 60s, and no longer need to rely on a solution designed for a very specific problem in order to solve our everyday requirements. Far superior products are available, such as the XtraProtect range, which is clinically tested against a range of bacteria and is proven against Covid 19 specifically. XtraProtect is non-irritant to even the most sensitive skin, non-corrosive on surfaces, non-flammable and has virtually no odour. Where alcohol kills bacteria, XtraProtect goes the extra mile and continues to provide a barrier on skin and surfaces against picking up any bacteria.

XtraProtect is an innovative product that means we no longer need to take risks with alcohol-based products in our day-to-day lives. It is fully tested and licensed and has been designed to be easy to access and to use in any environment. Children can spray it on their hands liberally with no side effects. You can spray it on surfaces in the home, in the office, or out and about, such as shopping trolley handles, car steering wheel, plastic packaging, or door handles and work surfaces, to kill bacteria and create a protective barrier that remains safe for up to 8 days. You can use it in a dispenser to give a creamy foam version into your hands. This seems like a much better answer to our 2020 problems! The added bonus here is you save 50% end-use cost on our testing over a 4 week period with our bulk fill dispenser system.

The future is here, and alcohol as a hand sanitiser is history.