Workplace Wellness Insights: Choosing an Effective Hand Sanitizer
Each month, we send out our RK Healthy Workforce wellness newsletter. In it, we provide health and wellness tips for your work and life. This month, we’re focusing on how to be sure you choose an effective hand sanitizer.
Hand hygiene is an important response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends washing hands with soap and water. If those aren’t available, using a hand sanitizer can help you avoid getting sick and spreading germs. Americans are having a hard time tracking hand sanitizer down; however, the CDC doesn’t recommend that people make their own product, as there’s a chance it could be ineffective or cause skin burns.
You may be tempted to buy whatever bottle you can get your hands on, but not all sanitizers are created equal. As an additional 1,500 companies are now making hand sanitizer, it’s important to know what to look for and be cautious about. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recalled several hand sanitizers due to the potential presence of methanol, which is toxic when absorbed through skin or ingested. And as alcohol distillers have responded to the shortage by manufacturing sanitizer, be careful. There have been many reports of people drinking the product since it smells like drinking alcohol and is contained in beverage bottles.
When you’re browsing the store shelves or searching online, pay attention to product labels for the following signs of an effective hand sanitizer:
- Most importantly, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. If possible, clean your hands first, as alcohol-based sanitizers are most effective on hands that are not visibly dirty or greasy. Even rinsing hands with water first will help the sanitizer do its job.
- Check the ingredient list for denatured alcohol, which tastes terrible compared to drinking alcohol. The taste is used to help deter unintentional or intentional ingestion. The most common calls to poison control calls are related to unintentional exposures in children 5 years old and younger.
- Likewise, choose fragrance-free or unscented because fragrances may be used to cover the chemical smell.
Try to steer clear of hand sanitizers that claim to help prevent COVID-19, as that hasn’t been proven yet. When you’ve found a hand sanitizer that meets those standards, apply a dime-sized amount to dry, clean hands and rub your hands together until completely dry again.
Our monthly wellness newsletter also provides healthy recipes, seasonal tips and other valuable resources. In September 2020, other topics include:
- Low-Stress Diet Tips
- How to Make Better Decisions When Feeling Anxious
- Spinach Salad with Apples and Raisins Recipe
If you would like to receive this newsletter in your email each month, contact your R&K client manager. Also, check back with us next month for more workplace wellness insights.