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Hand Sanitizers are No Substitute for Soap and Water

by Dr. Trupti Shirole on April 21, 2011 at 11:57 AM
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 Hand Sanitizers are No Substitute for Soap and Water

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has warned that cleaning hands with wipes or gels does not protect from diseases. Nothing can substitute washing hands with soap and water thoroughly which can remove dangerous bacteria that can be transmitted by animals. However, using sanitizing gels after washing hands provides extra benefit.

Reliance on hand gels rather than soap and water is a major risk factor for outbreaks of gastrointestinal diseases. Sanitization gels which often contain alcohol are considered to be effective in normally clean places like offices and hospitals. But the hand sanitizers are not powerful enough to kill bacteria like E. coli or cryptosporidium found in animal feces and on contaminated surfaces around the farms. Running water helps to wash away dirt. Gels can be used if you do not have access to soap and water.

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