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COVID-19: Hand sanitizers inactivate novel coronavirus, study finds

 

Tests have confirmed that two hand sanitizer formulations recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) inactivate the virus that causes coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19), norovirus etc. The tests also provide reassurance that some store-bought sanitizers combat the virus.

close up of woman's hands using sanitizing gel

The results of the new tests have been published as a preprint in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.

In the absence of a vaccine or effective antiviral drugs, hand hygiene is a mainstay of efforts to prevent the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19.

People who have the infection may show few, if any, symptoms, but still be able to transmit the virus. The virus spreads via droplets in the air or on commonly used surfaces, such as door handles.

Washing the hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is a highly effective way to defend against harmful bacteria and viruses.

Hand washing isn’t always practical, however, especially for healthcare workers. This is due to a lack of access to running water, and a lack of sufficient time to wash the hands thoroughly.

Meanwhile, this group may be exposed to infection from a variety of sources throughout the course of each day.

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers provide a quick, simple alternative. 

What is USP Grade Ethanol?

Pure USP Ethanol (Ethyl Alcohol): USP stands for United States Pharmacopeia. Pure Ethyl Alcohol is also often referred to as USP Alcohol. That is because only pure, undenatured Ethanol can be certified as USP or NF Grade. Not all pure alcohol is USP grade certified. Only 190 and 200 proof pure ethanol which meets or exceeds the stringent standards of purity by the United States Pharmacopeia is certified as USP grade.

Fun fact: The word “ethanol” was picked in 1892 as a combination of the chemistry term “ethane” (for the carbon chain) and “ol” (for being in the alcohol group).  

Are all hand sanitizers created equal?

It’s important to make sure any hand sanitizer you do use contains at least 60 percent alcohol. 

Studies have found that sanitizers with lower concentrations or non-alcohol-based hand sanitizers are not as effective at killing germs as those with less than 80% percent ethanol/alcohol.

In particular, non-alcohol-based sanitizers may not work equally well on different types of germs and could cause some germs to develop resistance to the sanitizer.

TWO FORMULATIONS THAT MATTER

 

 

The WHO recommend two alcohol-based sanitizer formulations to prevent the spread of pathogens in general.

Now, scientists in Germany and Switzerland have tested the sanitizers’ effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2.

The first sanitizer comprises:

  • ethanol — 80% by volume (vol/vol)
  • glycerine (also known as glycerol) — 1.45% vol/vol
  • hydrogen peroxide — 0.125% vol/vol

The second sanitizer comprises:

  • isopropanol (also known as 2-propanol or isopropyl alcohol) — 75% vol/vol
  • glycerine — 1.45% vol/vol
  • hydrogen peroxide — 0.125% vol/vol

The researchers exposed SARS-CoV-2 virus particles to each formulation for 30 seconds.

When they tested the subsequent ability of the virus to infect cells in lab cultures, they found that both formulations had inactivated the virus.

The team was led by Professor Stephanie Pfänder, of the Department for Molecular and Medical Virology at Ruhr-Universität Bochum, in Germany.

“We showed that both WHO-recommended formulations sufficiently inactivate the virus after 30 seconds,” says Prof. Pfänder.

Our facility and our rPet products reduce our carbon footprint, giving our customers quality and an environmentally safe product.

Our Products

  • Cruelty Free Products
  • Our Hand Sanitizer Liquid is USP Grade
  • Our Hand Sanitizer GEL is USP Grade
  • NON-GMO
  • All products use Ethanol which is based from a Natural byproduct of plant fermentation
  • All products are Anti-bacterial
  • All products are antiseptic

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We are reliable, flexible and innovative partner that provides products and services of superior quality and value that meet our customers’ global needs.

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We care for the environment and our products, be assured that our production practices are environment-friendly.