21 Aug 2013

Hands vs. Germs…

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Have you ever thought about how many times you wash your hands each day? Probably quite often, right? No sense in getting extra grime on your keyboard or a handful of germs to your cup of tea. Still, soap and clean water are not always available or practical, such as when you’ve just shook hands with a client and only belatedly notice that he has the sniffles, or when your colleague’s little daughter—the one with the runny nose—has just given you a warm hug. It’s occasions like these that make you grateful for hand sanitizers, no?

Still, there a couple of pointers regarding hand sanitizer use that you might want to look into…

The most important is undoubtedly what kind of hand sanitizer you should use, and the answer is simple: use the alcohol-based stuff, and make sure that it contains at least 60 percent alcohol. See, the ones that are alcohol-free and labeled as ‘antibacterial’ usually contain triclosan… and this chemical is now thought to be ineffective. And even though it might kill some bacteria, it may also be one of the causes why more and more bacteria are becoming resistant to antibiotics—the so-called ‘super bacteria’ phenomenon. Alcohol, on the other hand, physically destroys germs.

Think of it this way: Even if you can’t stand spicy food, you can eventually get used to sambal and chillies, right? But no matter what you do, there’s no way you can get used to getting hit by a car… Same thing with alcohol and bacteria…

A bit less important but largely unknown is how you should apply hand sanitizer. First of all, make sure that your hands are free from grime and dirt. Then, take a palm-full of sanitizer and rub it vigorously for 20 seconds or so while making sure that you cover the area between your fingers, under any jewelry you might be wearing, on your wrists, and on the backs of both hands.

So, no, simply using a couple of drops and rubbing your hands together isn’t going to cut it…

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