FDA wants to study the effects of hand sanitizers

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(June 30, 2016)- The FDA is raising new questions about hand sanitizers that you likely use every day. They want to study long term use of gel sanitizers and how they absorb into the body, especially in children and pregnant women. There is also a concern for how antiseptic chemicals will fight off resistant "super bugs."

Hand sanitizers were created in 1966 to serve as a secondary method of hand washing. And in order to be effective, they have to contain at least 60 percent alcohol. Some contain as much as 65 percent alcohol. The alcohol in hand sanitizers is in the form of either ethyl alcohol or isopropyl alcohol, also known as rubbing alcohol.

Hand sanitizers also often contain humectants, like glycerin, which help prevent dryness and emollients like Aloe Vera. Hand sanitizers which contain harsh chemicals like bleach, should be avoided.

According to John Hopkins researchers, hand sanitizers may actually be more effective at ridding your hands of microbes.  They do kill a variety of pathogens that soap and water may leave behind. Those include fungi, influenza virus, HIV, hepatitis B virus, MRSA and VRE.  But they don’t get rid of all germs.

The FDA did say, their study doesn’t mean hand sanitizers are ineffective or unsafe.

Sponsored by American Senior Communities.

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