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Do Hand Sanitizers Really Work?

Posted Jun 19 2009 10:13pm
My nephew always carries a little bottle of liquid hand sanitizer in his backpack, just in case he can't wash his hands in a dirty environment or has to pick up food with his hands.

And we all know we should wash our hands frequently to avoid picking up people's germs.

So, my question has always been: do those portable hand sanitizers really work?

The answer was supplied this month in the December 2008 issue of Travel and Leisure:

"'I only use hand sanitizers when soap isn't available,' says Dr. Anna Bowen, medical epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sanitizers with a minimum alcohol concentration of 60 percent, such as Purell and Germ-X, have been proven to kill germs effectively, but they don't wash away dirt, grime, or certain agents such as the novovirus. 'If you do opt for a sanitizing product,' Bowen says, 'make sure you use enough gel to cover the entire surface of your hands, and let them dry completely.'"

I knew my nephew was smart. Looks like he's right once again.
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