The recent novel coronavirus outbreak has been a worldwide phenomenon. The entire human race has not seen the likes of this pandemic in recent memory. This is a new type of coronavirus that requires different treatment than coronaviruses previously seen. The dangers the novel coronavirus poses comes from the speed that it spreads coupled with the potential severity of the disease. Because of this, everyone has a heightened sense of awareness for hand sanitization overlooked previously.
For cleanliness and sanitization a good lather of soap should be your go-to method for eliminating germs and grime. A good hand sanitizer is a good backup means of protection if your hands are already relatively clean. Hand sanitizer is less effective the more grime and dirt you contaminate your hands with.
The CDC recommends for COVID-19 that you use a hand sanitizer that contains a 60% alcohol content to effectively kill germs. There are differences in types of alcohol. A 70% alcohol content for isopropyl alcohol is as effective as 60% alcohol content for ethyl alcohol. Ethanol or ethyl alcohol is made from corn, sugar or wheat. Isopropyl is made from petroleum. There are some viruses that are resistant to alcohol. Fortunately alcohol easily destroys viruses like COVID-19. Alcohol works by destroying the fat layer protecting the virus protein. A higher alcohol content is actually not necessarily any more effective killing any more germs. Additionally, a higher alcohol content will only dry out your skin more so.
Because organic ethanol can be made from a variety of plant products there are slight differences, mostly in smell. Corn ethanol can smell rank, while sugar and wheat ethanol is more pleasing. And this has also caused an increase demand in sugar and wheat alcohol.
Hand Sanitizer Shortage
The shortage of alcohol hand sanitizers available to consumers is partly due to hoarding, but also due to the barriers of getting hand sanitizer to market. Hand sanitizers are both a drug and an alcohol so require a manufacturing facility regulated by the FDA in possession of both licenses. This somewhat rare for a manufacturing facility to have both licenses and limits those that can make hand sanitizers for the market. As hand sanitizers have become scarce, some alcohol distilleries have turned to making their own brand of hand sanitizers. This has been great for helping make up for the shortage. Distilleries have an alcohol license but not a drug license. Despite this, they are 100% as effective as any other drug manufactured hand sanitizer. However, distilleries are normally from selling their hand sanitizer on the open market. Instead distilleries have been making hand sanitizers altruistically and offering them freely to the public or places that will do the most good.
The situation is very fluid. Since the pandemic there has been some deregulation in this regard. As a result, many craft hand sanitizers are starting to appear on the market, such as on Etsy. As the demand for alcohol rises, alcohol suppliers are running short, especially with ethanol alcohol. As a result the suppliers are likely to increase prices to increase production. The disruption to the supply chain normally associated with alcohol also has consequences. Alcohol suppliers are likely to ask for bulk delivery with cash up front further limiting the supply.
Hand Sanitizer Usage
At Earth Baby we use a mild 62% alcohol level to reduce drying out your skin. We use the moisturizing and emollient properties of Oleospheres® to better combat drying out your skin normally associated with alcohol hand sanitizers. Our hand sanitizer also contains the nutritive elements from aloe and honeysuckle in order to help nurture your skin.
Never ingest hand sanitizer nor leave a small child unsupervised to unwittingly ingest hand sanitizer. If a child licks lingering hand sanitizer it won’t be harmful, but probably not pleasant either. Apply hand sanitizer to the hands and rub vigorously until completely dried off. We suggest that you only apply hand sanitizer for kids ages 2+. Please consult your physician if you have any questions.
Hand sanitizers are great to keep around. It is a great alternative should you find yourself in a place that does not have soap and water readily available. Outdoor activities such as camping, or a day at the beach, or a picnic at the park are great places to always have hand sanitizer ready. Be vigilant about carrying hand sanitizer around for emergency situations. Keep one handy such as at packed sporting events when restroom access is limited by long waits, or at restaurants that do not have soap readily available.
As we emerge from self-quarantine mode, keeping your hands sanitized in public will be a priority. There are plenty of opportunities for contracting germs using public transportation or going shopping. Latex gloves may be an option for adults. However, kids may find their only option is to have a hand sanitizer available.