Are PURELL® products effective against Ebola?
Ebola viruses are high risk pathogens that must be contained and are not readily available for laboratory testing. As of today, we are not aware of any hand sanitizers that have been tested against Ebola viruses, including PURELL® Hand Sanitizer. However, it is important to note that the Ebola virus is an enveloped virus. Enveloped viruses in general are easily killed or inactivated by alcohol. World Health Organization (WHO) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are recommending handwashing and the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer as a preventive measure during this outbreak.
Learn more about Ebola
Are PURELL® products effective against EV-D68?
PURELL® Advanced Hand Sanitizer formulations have not been tested against this virus. EV-D68 is a non-enveloped virus, which is generally hard to kill or inactivate with alcohol. At this time, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending handwashing as a preventative measure against EV-D68.
Learn more about EV-D68
Are PURELL® products effective against the flu?
The FDA does not allow brands to make viral claims, but from a scientific perspective influenza is an enveloped virus. Enveloped viruses in general are easily killed or inactivated by alcohol. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are recommending the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer as a preventive measure for flu prevention.
Learn more about the Flu
Do PURELL® products contain triclosan?
No. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations do not allow the use of triclosan as an active ingredient in "leave on" products like hand sanitizer. PURELL hand sanitizer products do not contain triclosan.
Do PURELL® products cause muscle function impairment?
No. A recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is purportedly linking exposure to triclosan with potential muscle function impairment in animals.
Some media reports about the study have inaccurately associated triclosan with both hand sanitizers and antibacterial soaps. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations do not allow the use of triclosan as an active ingredient in "leave on" hand sanitizer. PURELL hand sanitizer products do not contain triclosan.
How effective are alcohol-based hand sanitizers, like PURELL®?
Since PURELL® Instant Hand Sanitizer was introduced to consumers in 1997, it has helped millions of people stay healthy by reducing bacteria on their skin. PURELL® Instant Hand Sanitizer kills 99.99 percent of the most common germs that may cause illness.
What does PURELL® do to discourage misuse by ingestion?
PURELL® Instant Hand Sanitizer contains bitter, unpleasant-tasting ingredients that make it undesirable to drink. We add the unpleasant taste to all PURELL products to discourage ingestion. Filtering the alcohol from instant hand sanitizer gel, as described in some media reports, does not remove the bitter, unpleasant taste.
While the news of any product abuse is disturbing, reports of accidental or intentional ingestion have been rare in the 24 years that PURELL products have been used by consumers, schools, hospitals, restaurants and other businesses.
Labels on all PURELL products provide instructions to follow in the event of ingestion. Label instructions state: "If swallowed, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away." PURELL formulations are safe and effective when used as directed and an important resource for reducing the spread of germs.
Alcohol is a common ingredient found in many consumer products, including mouthwash, cough syrup, fragrances and vanilla. We encourage parents to talk to their teens about the dangers of any type of product misuse.
Consistent with best practices for all products used around children, always supervise PURELL use by children under six years of age or those whose judgment may be impaired.
The benefits of instant hand sanitizer for safeguarding public health are well-documented in many settings. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are recommended by numerous leading health organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), to fight the spread of germs.
What should be done if PURELL® is ingested?
Labels on all PURELL® products provide instructions to follow in the event of ingestion. Label instructions state: "If swallowed, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away." PURELL formulations are safe and effective when used as directed and an important resource for reducing the spread of germs.
How is PURELL® Instant Hand Sanitizer used?
As with all over-the-counter products, it is important to use PURELL® products properly and according to the instructions on the label: wet hands thoroughly with product, and briskly rub hands together until dry. Adults should always supervise children in the use of the product.
Does PURELL® Instant Hand Sanitizer kill the good germs and the bad germs?
Germs live all around us. Our bodies are covered with germs that help us stay healthy. These are considered "good" germs and, since they reside on the body, are referred to as resident germs. In addition to the good germs, we are also exposed to ones that we pick up from contact with other people or objects. These are called transient germs. It is these germs that are often responsible for making you sick. Similar to washing your hands with soap and water, PURELL® products reduce some of your resident germs while killing the transient germs. However, in both cases, your body quickly regenerates your resident germs which are generally harmless and actually important for healthy skin.
Why does PURELL® contain alcohol?
The alcohol content in PURELL® Instant Hand Sanitizer is at a level which safely and effectively reduces the level on hands of the most common germs that may cause illness. Using alcohol based instant hand sanitizers, when soap and water are not available, is one of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendations.
Do alcohol-based hand sanitizers like PURELL® lead to resistant bacteria?
Laboratory testing has never shown alcohol-based hand sanitizers like PURELL® to lead to bacterial resistance. There is no evidence that organisms adapt and become immune to the active ingredient in PURELL® products. Once your hands are rubbed dry after application of PURELL®, the alcohol has evaporated completely. PURELL® leaves no harmful residue. A small bit of emollient (skin conditioning agent) is left on the hands after use to leave your hands feeling soft and refreshed.
How many uses are in a 2 fl oz bottle of PURELL® Instant Hand Sanitizer?
If used as directed, which is to apply enough PURELL® Instant Hand Sanitizer to thoroughly wet hands, a consumer can get 29-30 uses out of a 2 fl oz bottle.
When is it especially important to practice good hand hygiene?
Practicing good hand hygiene is especially important:
- After using the bathroom
- Before eating or drinking anything
- Before and after handling raw foods, fish, poultry, or eggs
- After using a public phone
- After riding public transportation
- In schools and day care centers
- After changing diapers
- When one is sick
- After shaking hands
- After sneezing or coughing
- After touching an ATM, elevator buttons or escalator handrails
What has the CDC said about alcohol-based hand sanitizers? Are they useful for children?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recommended the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers when soap and water are not available and hands are not visibly dirty. The CDC recommends that children in school may use alcohol-based hand rubs as an alternative to handwashing.
How do most infectious diseases spread?
According to the International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene (IFH), the hands are one of the most frequent transmission routes for many types of infections as they come into direct contact with known portals of entry for pathogens (mouth, nose, conjunctiva of the eyes). Therefore, practicing proper hand hygiene is the easiest way to help reduce infections. Another way that some infections can spread is through the air, which is why it is important to cover your mouth when you sneeze, either with a tissue or by sneezing into your elbow.
What is the proper way to practice hand hygiene?
Use soap and water, especially when hands are visibly dirty. Wash hands with soap and water for 15 to 20 seconds.
When soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Apply enough product to thoroughly wet hands, then rub hands together briskly until dry.