Covid-19 lasts on skin for 9 hours, but ethanol sanitiser inactivates in 15 seconds – Japan scientists
19-Oct-2020 By Guan Yu Lim
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causing the COVID-19 outbreak was found to survive on human skin for as long as nine hours, although it can be inactivated by ethanol within 15 seconds.
Look for formulation details – If you are buying a product that states it is using the World Health Organisation (WHO) formula, it should have 80% ethanol or 75% Isopropyl Alcohol. Not all hand sanitisers are the same. The effectiveness of an alcohol-based hand sanitiser depends on the amount of alcohol (e.g. ethanol or isopropyl alcohol) in the formulation. Look for a formulation of at least 60% alcohol in these products.
Consider the type of container before buying – If you are using hand sanitiser around young children, avoid buying it in containers that could be mistaken by young children to contain food or drink. Hand sanitisers can be dangerous if ingested.
Be careful if buying online – If you buy hand sanitisers online, be careful. They may not do what the advertiser claims and may contain different ingredients to what the advertiser claims.
How hand sanitisers work
Hand sanitisers contain antiseptic ingredients. An antiseptic is a substance that is used on the skin to kill microorganisms or prevent the growth of microorganisms. Hand sanitisers can be either hand washes for use with water or hand rubs for use without water.
The way these products are regulated depends on how they are used, what they contain, and what they claim to do.