Clarke Karcher Diversey

Hand Sanitizer Facts

By CleanLink Editorial Staff
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In this article, industry manufacturers answer common questions asked by in-house custodial/facility managers.

How can a hand sanitizer be considered green?

One measure of a "Green" sanitizer is the amount of biobased ingredients used in its formulation. Biobased content is derived from renewable, biological sources, as opposed to non-renewable, fossil sources. Managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the BioPreferredsm program was created to increase the purchase and use of biobased products by agencies of the federal government. It has since become more widespread as one way to determine if a product can be considered "green" or "environmentally preferred". Hand Sanitizers that are made up in whole or in significant part of renewable resources can be considered biopreferred. BioPreferred products contribute to environmental sustainability by reducing our consumption of non-renewable resources.
— Lori Huffman, head of marketing, NAFTA, STOKO Skin Care, Greensboro, N.C.

Standard are still being developed in the United States for what constitutes a "Green" hand sanitizer. Certainly recyclable packaging and biodegradability will play a large role.
— Ronald Lewis, associate brand manager, Henkel Consumer Goods, Inc., Scottsdale, Ariz.

In the sense that no water is needed to sanitize your hands, they can be considered "green". However, at some point you need to get the dead bacteria and soil off your hands and water is needed to do that. Many people consider alcohol based sanitizers that are made from grain to be "green".
— Bob Bernet, vice president of sales, Kutol Products Company, Sharonville, Ohio

PURELL Green Certified Instant Hand Sanitizer was the world's first green certified hand sanitizer. It was the first to meet an independent, third party environmental standard for hand antiseptics. The product is considered green because it is made with 100 percent naturally renewable ethanol in a readily biodegradable formula. And, in terms of sustainability efforts that deliver social benefits, PURELL's contribution to improving well being through effective hand hygiene and healthy skin is important.
PURELL Green Certified Instant Hand Sanitizer meets EcoLogo CCD-170, the standard for environmental leadership and performance in the instant hand antiseptic products category. PURELL Green Certified Instant Hand Sanitizer also meets USDA Biopreferred program biobased content standards, and is fragrance free, dye free and readily biodegradable.
— Joe Drenik, marketing communications and services senior director, GOJO Industries, Inc., Akron, Ohio

Hand sanitizers have an expiration date listed on them. How long do hand sanitizers last and what is their effectiveness after this date?

Most hand sanitizers have a 3-year shelf life. However, not all OTC FDA-regulated products, including hand sanitizers, require expiration dating on the package. As per the Code of Federal Regulations, no expiration date is required for products sold in the US upon successful completion of 3-month accelerated stability testing. If a sanitizer is analytically tested and maintains its active ingredient level beyond the industry standard of 3 years, it could still be considered effective.
— Ronald Lewis, associate brand manager, Henkel Consumer Goods, Inc., Scottsdale, Ariz.

Hand sanitizers can carry an expiration date up to the amount of time that testing has confirmed the stability and effectiveness of the active ingredient as stated on the label. A typical industry standard is 2 – 3 years.
— Lori Huffman, head of marketing, NAFTA, STOKO Skin Care, Greensboro, N.C.

When the amount of the sanitizer's antibacterial agent drops below 90% of the stated level, it is considered expired. Although legally expired, a sanitizer may still have some effectiveness remaining, especially since these are "leave on" products.
— Bob Bernet, vice president of sales, Kutol Products Company, Sharonville, Ohio

If offered inside the restroom, where should sanitizers be placed to encourage proper use?

GOJO recommends that inside the restroom, hand sanitizer dispensers should be place near the exit. The ideal location is adjacent to the door so visitors can sanitize their hands as they open the door.
— Joe Drenik, marketing communications and services senior director, GOJO Industries, Inc., Akron, Ohio

If for aesthetic reasons, hand sanitizer dispensers are to be offered in the restroom, they should be placed as close to the exit as possible without being obtrusive, so that the user can still kill germs picked up by touching the door.
— Ronald Lewis, associate brand manager, Henkel Consumer Goods, Inc., Scottsdale, Ariz.

Next to the soap dispenser at a height designed for children and disadvantaged users.
— Bob Bernet, vice president of sales, Kutol Products Company, Sharonville, Ohio

You should avoid offering sanitizers in the restroom. Soap and water should only be used in order to rid the hands of all germs and bacteria. Sanitizer can not wash away soils from the hands.
— Lori Huffman, head of marketing, NAFTA, STOKO Skin Care, Greensboro, N.C.

Outside the restroom, where should sanitizers be placed to encourage use?

In schools, they should be placed in the classrooms where they are convenient for kids with colds. In offices, they should be placed in the lobby and hallways near conference rooms, doorways and elevators where there is heavy traffic.
— Bob Bernet, vice president of sales, Kutol Products Company, Sharonville, Ohio

Sanitizers should be placed at all entrances and exits, near meeting rooms or classrooms and some hallways if it doesn't interfere with traffic and near elevators. Generally speaking, place sanitizers in high traffic areas where people frequently pass. The use of a stand will allow more visibility and signage can also help serve as a reminder to sanitize. Sanitizers should be used as a supplement to a proper hand hygiene program and should never take the place of proper hand washing with soap and water.
— Lori Huffman, head of marketing, NAFTA, STOKO Skin Care, Greensboro, N.C.

Placement outside of the restroom should be in convenient, easily accessible locations. In addition to placing hand-sanitizing stations in communal areas, it is important to have hand sanitizer product available in conference rooms, at employee desks and in reception areas. Making hand sanitizers readily available is key to encouraging use.
— Joe Drenik, marketing communications and services senior director, GOJO Industries, Inc., Akron, Ohio

Outside the restroom, dispensers can be placed conveniently by the door or in the hallway where they are clearly visible by all.
— Ronald Lewis, associate brand manager, Henkel Consumer Goods, Inc., Scottsdale, Ariz.
posted on: 10/11/2012





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