All Hand Sanitizers Won’t Work for Coronavirus

Saturday, March 7, 2020 - 16:47

Sanitizers that do not contain the CDC’s recommended minimum of 60% alcohol are not working for coronavirus.

According to the ProPublica report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends rubbing on hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol when you aren’t able to wash your hands.

At a time when all hand sanitizers are in short supply, the benzalkonium chloride products are better than nothing, said Emily Landon, an infectious diseases specialist at the University of Chicago Medicine.

She said the CDC recommendation for hand sanitizers is based on the fact that 60% alcohol kills “all of the coronaviruses we know about.” A sanitizer with benzalkonium chloride as the active ingredient is “not as good,” because we don’t know as much about it, she said. As a physician, mother and infection-control expert, she called alcohol-based products her “first choice” for hand sanitizers.


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