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Hand Washing and hand sanitizers are risky when it comes to truly killing pathogens

To reduce bacterial populations to an acceptable level on the hands through hand washing, a person needs to wash, rinse and dry their hands twice for a minimum of 20 seconds. How often has one seen a healthcare worker do this? When you go to a restaurant, how often do you see food service personnel wash their hands let alone twice? “As a former health inspector of both hospitals and food service establishments, I can tell you with certainty, that you are more likely to win a million dollars gambling in Vegas than to see consistent, correct hand washing going on among healthcare and food service personnel.” Dr. Christopher Hart. Indeed, research shows that there is rarely even 50% compliance of proper hand washing in healthcare facilities. Every year, 48,000 Americans die of infections they caught while in the hospital — and that’s a conservative estimate, according to research findings released in 2010. In fact, nosocomial infections kill more Americans every year than does HIV!

In the food industry, this is why there are 48 million people or one in six in the United States stricken with food-borne disease by eating contaminated food. Of these, 128,000 people are hospitalized and 3,000 die every year. These numbers are considered to be conservative as most food-borne disease outbreaks goes unreported.

To cut corners and/or misguided by the belief that they are as good, if not better than, proper hand washing, people turn to liquid hand sanitizers. There are a number of problems with these including but not limited to: 1) they do not kill some of the major disease causing microorganisms; 2) many contain triclosan,a chemical that is absorbed by the skin and have been shown through research to causes problems at the cellular level even to the extent of killing brain cells which is why in part; 3) the FDA has even raised serious issues with the use of them and claims by some companies as to their effectiveness.

 

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