Are you under the impression that hand sanitizers keep the germs at bay? Well, here's the reality - they stop working after just two minutes.
A survey suggests that more than half of all Americans think the antibacterial gel last a lot longer than it really does and the fact that hand sanitizers don't offer long-term protection may come as a shock to germiphobes.
"Alcohol sanitizers last only a minute or two and must be reapplied when recontamination occurs," the New York Daily News quoted Philip Tierno, director of clinical microbiology and immunology at NYU Langone Medical Center, as saying.
Len Horovitz, attending physician and internist at Lenox Hill Hospital, explained that, "hand sanitizer is better than nothing if you are going to shake someone's hand or if you are out on the street with no sink or paper towels, but the best germicidal thing you can do is wash with soap and water."
More than half of Americans think sanitizers last 30 times longer than they do, according to the survey from Healthpoint, which sells a sanitizer that the company says works for up to six hours.
"Other than soap and water, the best way to keep harmful germs at bay is never to touch your face unless you have just washed your hands," added Horovitz.
The study informed that 68 percent of the more than 1,000 respondents said they use hand sanitizer, and 52 percent said they keep it in their purse or briefcase.