Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Hand sanitizers good if there's enough alcohol

Little pump bottles of alcohol gel are almost ubiquitous in the office where I work. Many of us share desks regularly, and we all borrow others' workstations once in a while. So we count on sanitizers as well as soap and water. Now someone's validated the stuff -- but with a warning that it has to have more than 60 percent alcohol. The nut graf to remember when you buy, from Elaine Larson, professor of pharmaceutical and therapeutic research at the Columbia school of nursing:
"Check the bottle for active ingredients. It might say ethyl alcohol, ethanol, isopropanol or some other variation, and those are all fine. But make sure that whichever of those alcohols is listed, its concentration is between 60 and 95 percent. Less than that isn't enough."
Read the details, if you're registered, at the New York Times

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