People are interested in going green these days – but, unfortunately, many common home and personal care products are far from it – particularly hand sanitizers. Fortunately, that’s about to change. The makers of Purell Instant Hand Sanitizer just announced the development of a eco hand sanitizer that’s certified by EcoLogo – called Gojo Green Certified Instant Hand Sanitizer.
The Problem with Conventional Hand Sanitizers
With the recent outbreak of swine flu, people want to keep their hands and personal belongings clean, but most hand sanitizers are anything but environmentally friendly. In fact, the majority contain a chemical called triclosan, a chemical which kills viruses and bacteria, but raises some serious health concerns. When triclosan and water are mixed, it produces chloroform gas, a known carcinogen. Triclosan is also classified as a pesticide which speaks volumes about its safety.
Products containing triclosan may also contribute to the problem of resistant bacteria. Plus, it ends up in the waterways – because treatment plants can’t adequately remove it – and poses a threat to aquatic life. Eco unfriendly hand sanitizers that contain triclosan don’t do humans or the environment any good.
A Green Hand Sanitizer?
This new eco hand sanitizer is made from ethanol that’s renewable and biodegradable, yet it still kills 99.99 percent of illness causing viruses and bacteria. It’s free of dyes and fragrances – which is a plus. It’s also packaged in a recyclable bottle that uses thirty percent less raw materials – another positive for the environment.
Even an Eco Hand Sanitizer May Not Be Necessary
On the other hand, studies show that scrubbing hands well with regular soap kills just as many disease causing germs as a hand sanitizer – but only if they’re scrubbed for twenty seconds or more – no cheating. Hand sanitizers may not be necessary except for people who work in areas without access to a sink. Even green hand sanitizers such as Gojo Green Certified Instant Hand Sanitizer contain alcohol which can be irritating to dry skin and shouldn’t be overused.
The Bottom Line?
Gojo Green Certified Instant Hand Sanitizer is not only safer for the environment, but a healthier option as well – for people who use hand sanitizers. For those who have easy access to a sink, scrubbing thoroughly with regular soap and warm water for at least twenty seconds may be a safe and effective option.
Environ. Sci. Technol. 39 (9): 3176-85.