How to Know the Effectiveness of Hand Sanitizers?

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How to Know the Effectiveness of Hand Sanitizers?

Hand sanitizer has become an important part of our everyday lives. These liquid gel sanitizers can be found everywhere. These have been stocked in pharmacies, general stores, and even the smallest grocery shops for the good of the public at large.

Hand sanitizers have gained popularity in the aftermath of COVID-19, especially as a result of the WHO’s insistence, and can be found in every corner of the country.

The value of hand sanitizer can be seen in the fact that it has been included in the Essential Commodities Act by the Indian government in order to ensure that it is readily available around the clock.

Before Covid-19, the importance, production, and supply of hand sanitizers were very limited. However, with the onset of the Coronavirus, hand sanitizers have become an indispensable part of our lives.

At the beginning of the pandemic, many companies sold sanitizers at costlier prices. This problem has now been curbed by government regulations. Following the Pandemic, the market has been overloaded with a range of sanitizers claiming to kill all germs up to 99.9%.

Although so many companies claim their sanitizers to be 99.9% effective, how do you know and verify for the same? As a consumer, here are the few things to look for to know whether the sanitizer is effective or not:

Researching and verifying the label claims

Certified laboratories conduct tests that aid in the verification of the statements made on the label. These studies guard you against believing false or misleading facts. Sanitizers and disinfectants are put through a series of checks to ensure that the labels on them are accurate. There are 2 formulations of alcohol-based hand rubs that are effective and recommended.

Ethanol 80 per cent (v/v) or Isopropyl alcohol 75 per cent (v/v), Glycerol 1.45 per cent (v/v), and Hydrogen peroxide 0.125 per cent (v/v) are the two ABHR formulations suggested by WHO. Both formulations were first approved for sale in India in 2017, according to records published by the central drug regulator, DCGI. Always look whether these formulations are present. If not, your hand sanitizer might not be as effective as you think.

Requirement of Product Label Claims

ABHR comes under the category of “disinfectants” and is monitored and regulated by Central Drugs Standard Control Organization.

The manufacturers must adhere to the regulations made by CDSCO and WHO and the label claims should not be misleading to the customers.

Also, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) gave the availability of exemption from drug stock and sale license to them. This is done keeping in mind that the stock of hand sanitizers reaches the last mile.

Verifying the Label Claims: Types of Studies Conducted

Labs perform the under-mentioned studies on Label Claims Support for diverse clients belonging to the sanitizer, cleaning, and disinfecting industry.

Time-kill Assay

The Time-kill kinetics assay is used to assess the bactericidal or bacteriostatic activity of an antimicrobial agent against a bacterial strain.

This study is a method of microbiology that helps in the measurement of the antimicrobial activities while testing the material for the presence of disinfectants.

The study evaluates the microbial reduction caused by the disinfectant against selected bacteria or fungi after exposing it for a specific time.

Cleaning and Disinfection Efficacy Studies

Disinfectant efficacy studies, also known as disinfectant validation studies, are conducted to show that disinfectants used on surfaces in manufacturing areas, labs, and other facility areas are successful at inactivating or removing microorganisms like bacteria, fungi (yeast and moulds), bacterial spore, etc.

The Cleaning and Disinfection Efficacy Studies show that the cleaners you’re using produce better and more efficient results when it comes to cleaning and disinfecting surfaces.

Working with Sigma’s laboratories on a custom design will provide you with all proofs that the techniques used are successful in inactivating or eliminating a variety of bacteria and other microorganisms.

Minimum Inhibitory Concentration Studies

The Minimum Inhibitory Concentration, or MIC, is the lowest antimicrobial concentration that prevents bacteria from developing. MICs are used to assess the effectiveness of bacteria or compounds.

This is done after calculating the impact of decreasing antibiotic or antiseptic concentrations on microbe growth over a given period.

These are a few tests that help in determining the effectiveness of the sanitizers. Though sanitizers are categorized under disinfectants, both are very different. While disinfectants kill the germs, sanitizers lower them to a safe level.

In times of global pandemic, one should not forget that using hand sanitizers is more of a necessity than a choice. Using a good and approved sanitizer will not only save your life from Covid-19 but of those around you. Sanitize and save lives!

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