The war on viruses is endless, and moms know that! And to carry out this constant fight, many have got into the habit of putting a vial of disinfectant gel in their bag…
So we carry this little miracle bottle with us, which allows us to have clean, clean, clean hands at all times: no more excuses! Not to mention that more and more establishments have had the great idea of placing a gel dispenser at the entrance (or exit) of their business. We invite you to disinfect your hands before entering the hospital, of course, but also at the grocery store, and after leaving the gym. At this rate, the viruses better watch out: we will win!
So, are hydro-alcoholic solutions (SHA) as effective as we think?
For greater efficiency
Yes: hand sanitizers are effective, in fact, studies show that they are even more effective than simple hand washing. “These solutions act by reducing the quantity of several bacteria and viruses and their action is more prolonged than that of soap. It will therefore take longer before the hands become contaminated again,” explains Dr. Alex Carignan,assistant professor in the department of microbiology and infectiology of the faculty of medicine and he alth sciences of the University of Sherbrooke.
For a disinfectant gel to be more effective, the National Institute of Public He alth of Quebec recommends that the solution used contain 60 to 80% ethanol or isopropanol. In a notice published in 2009, the organization explains that “solutions containing more than 80 to 90% alcohol are generally less effective since alcohol needs water to denature proteins. Along the same lines, be aware that solutions that do not contain alcohol are completely ineffective against viruses and bacteria. In fact, you should rub your hands for 15 to 30 seconds with the disinfectant solution for optimal effectiveness. In fact, the gel must cover the entire surface of the hands. Hands should be washed or hand sanitizer applied before and after eating, cooking, and after using the toilet.
The cold virus is well eliminated thanks to hydro-alcoholic solutions, which are also a very effective defense against the flu. However, contrary to popular belief, the gastroenteritis virus is not. Indeed, these solutions do not overcome norovirus, the most common virus of gastroenteritis. The Clostrodium difficile bacterium is also resistant to disinfectant gels. Why? Because the bacteria that producespores have a shell, which is resistant to alcohol. That being said, traditional hand washing, for its part, succeeds in getting rid of these bacteria effectively. Moreover, it is important to note that the disinfectant gel does not clean the hands. As we have already seen, it helps to destroy bacteria and certain viruses, but if the hands are soiled, its effectiveness is not optimal. To loosen the dirt, the good old hand cleaning (which should last about forty seconds) is always the best!
Remember that gels are only effective where they are applied. They therefore do not protect us from the viruses that we breathe. This means that respiratory etiquette remains a preventive tool.
Disinfectant gels are indeed very effective, but they do not replace traditional hand washing, which cleans in depth. Is it useful to carry a small bottle with us wherever we go? Yes, but don't neglect hand washing, especially after changing a diaper. In addition, care must be taken to ensure that the small bottle is well out of the reach of children.