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U.S. Inventory Update, 07/03/20: Isopropyl Alcohol Online Inventory Tracker And Stocking Information
- 99% Isopropyl Alcohol For Viruses Is In Stock
- Denatured Alcohol (70%, 95%, 100%) Is In Stock
- Food Grade Alcohol (Ethanol) Is In Stock
- Hydrogen Peroxide Is In Stock
- Glycerin (Glycerol) Is In Stock
- Isopropyl Alcohol Wholesale Prices
Buy Isopropyl Alcohol (C3H8O) And Rubbing Alcohol In Bulk Online Here Or By Phone: 512-668-9918
If you have questions about ordering antiviral isopropyl alcohol disinfectants (isopropanol) and Rubbing Alcohol in bulk online here at LabAlley.com or would like to place a wholesale order, call 512-668-9918 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to talk with a Isopropyl Alcohol Specialist. Isopropyl Alcohol and Rubbing Alcohol are shipped to customers in the United States by UPS. Prices for isopropyl alcohol are current as of 07/03/20.
Viral Pandemic has prompted healthcare firms to buy 1 gallon bottles, 5 gallon pails and 55 gallon drums of 70%, 91% and 99% isopropyl alcohol solutions at LabAlley.com. Lab Alley has been helping healthcare firms as they face historic challenges during the pandemic by shipping isopropyl alcohol (IPA) to their facilities.
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Isopropyl Alcohol And Rubbing Alcohol For Sale In Bulk
Businesses and private individuals from Los Angeles to New York order isopropyl alcohol in bulk online at LabAlley.com. Isopropyl Alcohol 99%, 91% and 70% are ordered in 1 gallon bottles, 4x1 gallon cases and 5 gallon pails. For isopropyl alcohol wholesale prices and rubbing alcohol wholesale prices, please call 512-668-9918 to get a quote.
Due to the virus crisis, many Americans are wondering where to buy isopropyl alcohol in bulk. Prices for IPA have gone up significantly since March, 2020. Many stores and online retailers are out of stock of isopropyl alcohol. You can buy large bottles of isopropyl alcohol and rubbing alcohol online at LabAlley.com. You can order large quantities of isopropyl alcohol online here.
Buy Isopropyl Alcohol And Rubbing Alcohol In Bulk In The U.S. For Industrial And Manufacturing Uses At Wholesale Prices
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Buy Isopropyl Alcohol And Rubbing Alcohol To Make Antiviral Hand Sanitizers, Disinfectant Sprays, Antibacterial Hand Wipes And Household Cleaners
To learn more about U.S. regulations concerning the use of denatured alcohol, please refer to the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations here. For guidance from the FDA for using denatured alcohol to make commercial hand sanitizers, please refer to this PDF titled, "Policy for Temporary Compounding of Certain Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer Products During the Public Health Emergency Immediately in Effect Guidance for Industry".
American citizens and businesses are responding to the virus outbreak quickly by going online to buy isopropyl alcohol for viruses. Proactive people buy essential cleaning products like 99% rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) in bulk online at LabAlley.com. Read more here.
Isopropyl alcohol, that contains at least 60% alcohol, by volume, is suitable for do-it-yourself hand sanitizers that protect against virus infection.
Isopropyl Alcohol Chemical Properties
- Isopropyl Alcohol Formula: C3H8O
- Isopropyl Alcohol Boiling Point: 180.5°F (82.5°C)
- Isopropyl Alcohol Density: 786 kg/m³
- Isopropyl Alcohol Molar Mass: 60.1 g/mol
- Isopropyl Alcohol Melting Point: -128.2°F (-89°C)
- Isopropyl Alcohol IUPAC ID: Isopropyl Alcohol
- Isopropyl Alcohol CAS Registry Number: 67-63-0
- Isopropyl Alcohol PubChem CID: 3776
- Isopropyl Alcohol Safety And Hazards
- Isopropyl Alcohol Uses
- Isopropyl Alcohol Toxicity
- How To Make Disinfectant Spray With Rubbing Alcohol
- Isopropyl Alcohol Shipping: Lab Alley ships Isopropyl Alcohol by UPS, FedEx and LTTL
- Isopropyl Alcohol SDS: Contact Lab Alley at 512-668-9918 or by email to request an Isopropyl Alcohol Safety Data Sheet (SDS/MSDS).
- Isopropyl Alcohol Structure: Isopropyl alcohol, also known as isopropanol, is a colorless, volatile and flammable liquid. It has a chemical formula of C3H8O: it has three carbon (C) atoms, eight hydrogen (H) atoms and one oxygen (O) atom. Its chemical formula can also be written as: C3H7OH, CH3CHOHCH3 or (CH3)2CHOH.
- Isopropyl Alcohol Information From ChemSpider: ID 3644, Structure, Properties, Spectra, Suppliers And Links
Ethyl Alcohol (70%) is the most effective concentration for bactericidal and virucidal uses. 70% ethyl alcohol sold by LabAlley.com is a potent cleaning agent used to kill viruses, destroy microbes, denature proteins and dissolves lipid (fat) membranes surrounding viruses. Alcohol denatures proteins by disrupting the side chain intramolecular hydrogen bonding. Read the CDC disinfection and sterilization guidelines for chemical disinfectants here. U.S. consumers can also buy 100% ethanol without a license at LabAlley.com.
70% antibacterial and antifungal denatured alcohol and ethanol sold online at LabAlley.com are great virucidal disinfectants and hand sanitizers against non-enveloped viruses as well as single-stranded, positive-sense RNA viruses.
Ethanol and isopropyl alcohol are used throughout the world for disinfecting environmental surfaces in health care communities and for hand disinfection and hand rubbing. It has been noted that ethanol has a stronger and broader virucidal activity than propanols such as isopropanol.
Non-enveloped viruses do not have a lipid-bilayer membrane. Non-enveloped viruses reproduce by breaching the membrane of a target host cell to get access to cytoplasm of the cell. A virus encased within a lipid bilayer is called an enveloped virus and a virus that does not have a bilayer is classified as a non-enveloped virus.
Due to the virus outbreak, U.S. businesses and consumers order EPA recommended disinfectants and sanitizers in bulk at LabAlley.com for cleaning and disinfecting for the viruses and to kill germs on surfaces in households and community facilities.
The 70% ethyl alcohol sold by LabAlley.com is a better virucide than the 70% isopropyl alcohol and is quickly antimicrobial against viruses, bacteria and fungi on hard surfaces.
Isopropanol (isopropyl alcohol ) and ethyl alcohol in aqueous solutions between 60% and 90% alcohol with 10% to 40% purified water, kill bacteria and viruses by denaturing their proteins and dissolving their lipid membranes. When a bacterial cell is exposed to a solution of ethyl alcohol or isopropyl alcohol, the amphiphile alcohol molecules bond with the molecules of the bacteria's cell membrane, making it more soluble in water. This reaction causes the cell membrane to lose its structural integrity and then fall apart.
Ethyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol and soap all kill the viruses. Soap contains fat-like substances known as amphiphiles, which are structurally very similar to lipids in virus membranes. Soap loosens the bond between viruses and skin which helps decrease the spread of viruses. Soap also loosens the Velcro-like interactions that hold the proteins, lipids and RNA in the virus together. Alcohol-based disinfectant products sold at LabAlley.com that contain a high-percentage alcohol solution (normally 70% ethanol and 70% isopropyl alcohol) kill viruses in the same way. Additionally, the mechanical action of hand washing with soap loosens viruses and bacteria from the skin.
The CDC recommends using an alcohol-based hand rub (ABHR) with greater than 60% ethanol or 70% isopropyl alcohol in healthcare environments. Unless hands are visibly soiled, an ABHR is recommended over soap and water in clinical situations because of evidence of better compliance compared to soap and water. Hand rubs are normally less irritating to hands and are effective in the absence of a sink. Hands should be washed with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when visibly soiled, before eating, and after using the restroom. Learn more about hand hygiene in healthcare facilities here.
Alcohol-based hand sanitizer compounders protect children by using denatured ethanol or isopropyl alcohol. The FDA provides guidance on the production of alcohol-based hand sanitizer to help boost supply and protect public health during the viral crisis. Viruses intricately interact with and modulate cellular membranes at several stages of their replication, but much less is known about the role of viral lipids compared to proteins and nucleic acids.
All animal viruses have to cross membranes for cell entry and exit, which occurs by membrane fusion (in enveloped viruses), by transient local disruption of membrane integrity, or by cell lysis. The CDC and the FDA are helping to keep children safe by recommending that compounders use denatured alcohol and isopropyl alcohol to formulate and manufacture hand sanitizers and virus disinfectants.
Viruses are obligatory intracellular parasites that are simple in structure and composition, but engage in multiple and complex interactions with their host. Virus replication occurs exclusively inside the respective host cell. Accordingly, viruses have to cross the host cell boundary at least twice during their replication cycle, for entry and exit. Because these viral membranes are derived from the host, they may contain a complement of membrane-bound host cell proteins.
Because denatured alcohol (ethanol/ethyl alcohol) tastes awful and it smells bad, this hand sanitizer ingredient discourages young children from eating virus disinfectants. Denaturants in alcohol make it unfit for human consumption.
Both 70% denatured ethanol (140 proof) and 70% isopropyl alcohol are excellent disinfectants for surface-cleaning uses. 70% isopropyl alcohol is frequently used as an antiseptic in hospitals. Because of an increased demand for alcohol-based hand sanitizers during the virus pandemic, many U.S. healthcare facilities are augmenting their cleaning supplies by ordering ethyl alcohol (70%) and 70% isopropyl alcohol at LabAlley.com. In April of 2020, tons of 70% alcohol were ordered online at LabAlley.com for large-scale disinfection efforts against viruses and for household cleaning, sanitation and sterilization purposes in the U.S.
Buy antimicrobial disinfectants such as ethanol 70%, sodium hypochlorite and isopropanol to control Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections in homes and healthcare settings. Buy ingredients for safe recipes for DIY homemade hand sanitizers here. Buy virus disinfectants here. Buy hospital grade disinfectants online here.
- Acceptable Quality Grades
- Recommended Formulation
- Non-Medicinal Ingredients (NMIs)
- Formula Substitutions
- Use Of Non-USP Grade Alcohol
- Excise Tax Implications
- Obtaining A Licence, Registration And/Or Approved Formulation Under The Excise Act, 2001
- End Of Interim Approach
- Contact Health Canada
This document provides information on the use of ethanol as an ingredient in alcohol-based hand sanitizers sold in Canada. Numerous Canadian entities and industries not currently regulated by Health Canada have expressed interest in providing additional and/or alternate sources of ethanol (also known as anhydrous alcohol, ethyl alcohol, or grain alcohol) for use in the production of hand sanitizers to support the national response to the supply shortage during the pandemic.
To help reduce the risk of infection or spreading infection to others, Health Canada recommends that individuals wash their hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Similarly, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that individuals regularly and thoroughly clean their hands with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand rub, as part of proper hand hygiene.
On March 27, 2020, Health Canada released the Guide on Health Canada's Interim Expedited Licensing Approach for the Production and Distribution of Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizers. The purpose of that Guide is to support companies that intend to manufacture, package, label and/or distribute alcohol-based hand sanitizers in response to the current shortage by providing a simplified and expedited pathway to obtaining the required authorizations.
This document provides further guidance on the quality requirements for ethanol to be used in the production of hand sanitizers. It also highlights key formulation aspects and points to additional flexibilities that can be leveraged during this emergency situation.
To protect the health and safety of Canadians, Health Canada remains committed to its mandate while balancing the need for exceptional measures during the pandemic. As such, the quality of ethanol used in manufacturing hand sanitizers must be fit for purpose and meet safety, efficacy and quality requirements.
This interim approach takes into account the current policies and best practices of foreign regulatory partners, including the United States (US) Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as the recommendations of the WHO and the US Pharmacopeia (USP).
Ethanol used for the production of hand sanitizers should conform to one of the identity and purity criteria published in any of the following quality standards, with any noted deviations provided in this interim guidance. For details on these quality standards, please refer to the weblinks provided below. Please note that some of these references may be accessed for free, while others require payment for full access:
- USP Monograph
- European Pharmacopeia (Ph. Eur.)
- Food Chemical Codex (FCC)
- British Pharmacopoeia (BP)
- Pharmacopée française (Ph.f.) (refer to monographs in subfolder “13-Formulaire national”)
- Pharmacopoeia Internationalis (Ph.I.)
- Japanese Pharmacopoeia (JP) (refer to page 896)
- National Formulary (NF)
The USP monograph specifies that ethanol must be 94.9% to 96.0% pure by volume, and provides the following concentration limits for impurities commonly found in ethanol:
- Methanol: No more than 200 µL/L
- Acetaldehyde and acetal: No more than 10 µL/L, expressed as acetaldehyde
- Benzene: No more than 2 µL/L
- Sum of all other impurities: No more than 300 µL/L
All formulations must meet the safety and efficacy requirements established in Health Canada’s Antiseptic Skin Cleansers (Personal Domestic Use) monograph.
Health Canada recommends the manufacturing of ethanol‑based hand sanitizer as per the WHO formulation. Specifically, the WHO-recommended handrub formulations (2010) provides a recipe for the preparation of a hand sanitizer with a final concentration of 80% v/v ethanol. While Health Canada’s monograph stipulates a range of 60%-80 v/v ethanol, an 80% v/v concentration is recommended for increased efficacy.
Formulation For A 10-Litre Preparation
Other Acceptable Formulations Include:
Records must be maintained on how the hand sanitizer is prepared, including details on how the final ethanol dilution in the finished product was derived. The amount of ethanol needed in the formulation should be calculated using the following equation (as set out in the USP guidance):
All NMIs added to a hand sanitizer product must be listed in Health Canada’s Natural Health Products Ingredient Database (NHPID), indicated with an acceptable purpose and comply with all listed restrictions (as per the NHPID). Additional information is outlined below on quality requirements for specific NMIs used in ethanol-based hand sanitizers, based on the WHO guidance:
|Hydrogen Peroxide||The low concentration of Hydrogen peroxide in the finished product (0.125%) is intended to help eliminate contaminating spores in the bulk solutions and recipients and is not an active substance for hand antisepsis.|
|Glycerol and other humectants or emollients||
Glycerol (also known as glycerine or 1,2,3-Propanetriol) is added as a humectant at a final concentration of 1.45%, to increase the acceptability of the product and not to enhance viscosity.
Other humectants or emollients at a similar concentration may be used for skin care, provided that they are affordable, available locally, miscible (mixable) in water and alcohol, non-toxic, and not likely to cause an allergic reaction. Glycerol has been chosen because it is safe and relatively inexpensive. Lowering the percentage of glycerol may be considered to further reduce the stickiness of the handrub.
|Use of proper
|While sterile distilled water is preferred, boiled and cooled tap water may also be used as long as it is free of visible particles.|
|Addition of other additives||It is strongly recommended that no ingredients other than those specified in this document be added to the formulations. All NMIs (including denaturants) must be listed in the Product Licence application. If additions or substitutions of an NMI are made after the product licence is issued, documentation must be maintained on the safety of the additive and its compatibility with the other ingredients. These documents must be available upon request by Health Canada. Any substitutions should come from approved ingredients in the NHPID. If the NMI that you intend to use is not found in NHPID, you can complete a Natural Health Products Ingredients Database Issue Form and submit to this email to add the ingredient. The full list of ingredients must be provided on the product label.|
|Denaturants||The use of denaturants is recommended to avoid the unintentional ingestion of hand sanitizers (particularly by children), but is not required under this interim approach. The NHPID includes a listing of acceptable denaturants that should be used if applicable in your formulation. Once this interim approach ceases to be in effect, to continue with the manufacture of hand sanitizer products, companies will be required to confirm with Health Canada that denaturants will be used from that point on.|
|Gelling agents||No data are available to assess the suitability of adding gelling agents to WHO-recommended liquid formulations; any additives selected for this purpose must be listed in Health Canada’s NHPID and comply with listed restrictions. The addition of a gelling agent must be included in the list of ingredients on the product label.|
|Fragrances||Adding fragrances, while not prohibited, is not recommended because of the risk of potential allergic reactions. As with other ingredients, a fragrance would be considered an NMI and must be included in the Product Licence application and be listed on the product label.|
Ingredients adhering to USP (or other acceptable standards, as listed above) should be used as the source of ingredients. However, given that there may currently be shortages of ingredients used to manufacture formulations of alcohol-based hand sanitizers, the following substitutions are acceptable:
- When components meeting compendial quality standards are not obtainable, components of similar quality – such as those that are chemically pure, analytical reagent grade, or American Chemical Society-certified – may be used.
- No ingredients should be added to enhance viscosity as they may decrease the effectiveness of the final preparation.
Disinfectant product ingredients, whether registered with the US Environmental Protection Agency or Health Canada, are not suitable as components for manufacturing hand sanitizers as they may not be safe for use on skin (i.e., may cause burns).
As per the Natural Health Products Regulations (NHPR), a Product Licence will not be issued if a product is likely to result in injury to the health of the consumer. Non-USP grade ethanol should be of a level of quality that is fit for human use in the finished hand sanitizer formulation.
For any products containing ethanol with specifications that deviate from the recommended standards, such as higher than permitted level of impurities in the above referenced standards, a risk assessment must be conducted and submitted to Health Canada for review. Each risk assessment will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine if the ethanol is safe for use in hand sanitizer production. In the risk assessment, particular attention should be given to identify and quantify impurities, which are expected to be present (or likely to be present) as a result of manufacturing processes, starting materials, etc. An example of some impurities that would be expected in a non-USP or food grade ethanol product include acetaldehyde, benzene and methanol, though there may be others as well. Documentation including certificates of analysis (CoA) must be kept on record and made available at the request of Health Canada.
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) administers the Excise Act, 2001 which governs the federal taxation of several commodities, including spirits, and regulates activities involving the manufacture, possession and distribution of these products. For example, persons who produce and package spirits, persons who use non-duty-paid spirits in the manufacture of non-beverage spirit-based products such as cosmetics or hand sanitizers, and persons who operate warehouses to store non-duty-paid alcohol must possess an excise duty licence issued under the Excise Act, 2001.
Depending on the circumstances, a person may require a spirits licence, a user’s licence and/or a specially denatured alcohol registration in order to legally produce hand sanitizer using non-duty-paid alcohol in Canada. There are a number of ways hand sanitizer can be produced by licensees or registrants without incurring an excise duty liability, for example:
- A user licensee can produce hand sanitizer in accordance with an approved formulation without the payment of excise duty on the final product.
- There are also provisions that would allow a specially denatured alcohol registrant to possess and use certain grades of specially denatured alcohol to produce hand sanitizer without the payment of duty.
- A spirits licensee is authorized under the Excise Act, 2001 to denature spirits according to specified criteria, which are not subject to excise duty.
- Although it could be cost prohibitive, there is also the option to use duty-paid alcohol to produce hand sanitizer.
The requirements under the Act will vary depending on the circumstances of each case and the proposed activities to be undertaken.
A number of spirits licensees, licenced users and brewer licensees (excise licensees) have expressed an interest in using non-duty-paid alcohol to make hand sanitizer. These are existing excise licensees who are seeking to temporarily expand their operations in response to the shortage in supply as a result of the pandemic. In some cases, excise licensees are requesting specially denatured alcohol registrations to allow them to possess and use specially denatured alcohol for this purpose. In other cases, spirits or brewer licensees are requesting users’ licences and approved formulations. The CRA is also receiving enquiries from non-licensees who would like to apply for a specially denatured alcohol registration or user’s licence and approved formulation for the purpose of producing hand sanitizer. In response to the current circumstances, the CRA has implemented a streamlined process to expedite the review and approval of these applications.
Applications for users’ licences and specially denatured alcohol registrations should be submitted to your regional excise duty office using Form L63 Licence and Registration Application Excise Act, 2001. Applications for formulation approval should be submitted using Form Y15D - Request for Formula Approval. Note that a sample is not currently required for excise licensees applying for an approved formulation for the production of hand sanitizer. For questions or further information, please visit this website Excise Duties, Excise Taxes, Fuel Charge and Air Travellers Security Charge, which also includes the contact information for your regional excise duty office. These regional offices are your best source for information on excise taxes.
This interim approach is in effect immediately, and will be in effect until March 31, 2021 or until a notice is issued by Health Canada to licence holders (whichever is earliest). When the approach expires, production must cease, although existing product stock can be exhausted.
If you have questions in relation to this Guide or the licensing of alcohol-based hand sanitizers, please contact Health Canada's Natural and Non-prescription Health Products Directorate at email@example.com.
Hand sanitizer is a liquid, gel, or foam generally used to decrease infectious agents on the hands. In most settings, hand washing with soap and water is generally preferred. Hand sanitizer is less effective at killing certain kinds of germs, such as norovirus and Clostridium difficile and unlike soap and water, it cannot remove harmful chemicals. People may incorrectly wiped off hand sanitizer before it has dried, and some are less effective because their alcohol concentrations are too low.
In most healthcare settings alcohol-based hand sanitizers are preferable to hand washing with soap and water. Reasons include it being better tolerated and more effective. Hand washing with soap and water; however, should be carried out if contamination can be seen, or following the use of the toilet. The general use of non-alcohol-based hand sanitizers has no recommendations.
Alcohol-based versions typically contain some combination of isopropyl alcohol, ethanol (ethyl alcohol), or n-propanol, with versions containing 60% to 95% alcohol the most effective. Care should be taken as they are flammable. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer works against a wide variety of microorganisms but not spores. Compounds such as glycerol may be added to prevent drying of the skin. Some versions contain fragrances; however, these are discouraged due to the risk of allergic reactions. Non-alcohol based versions typically contain benzalkonium chloride or triclosan; but are less effective than alcohol-based ones.
Alcohol has been used as an antiseptic at least as early as 1363 with evidence to support its use becoming available in the late 1800s. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer has been commonly used in Europe since at least the 1980s. The alcohol-based version is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, the safest and most effective medicines needed in a health system.
The Clean Hands campaign by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) instructs the public in hand washing. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer is recommended only if soap and water are not available.
When using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer:
- Apply product to the palm of one hand.
- Rub hands together.
- Rub the product over all surfaces of hands and fingers until hands are dry.
- Do not go near flame or gas burner or any burning object during applying hand sanitizer.
- The current evidence for the effectiveness of school hand hygiene interventions is of poor quality.
Alcohol-based hand sanitizers may not be effective if the hands are greasy or visibly soiled. In hospitals, the hands of healthcare workers are often contaminated with pathogens, but rarely soiled or greasy. In community settings, on the other hand, grease and soiling is common from activities such as handling food, playing sports, gardening, and being active outdoors. Similarly, contaminants like heavy metals and pesticides (generally found outdoors) cannot be removed by hand sanitizers. Hand sanitizers may also be swallowed by children, especially if brightly-coloured.
Some commercially-available hand sanitizers (and online recipes for homemade rubs) have alcohol concentrations that are too low. This makes them less effective at killing germs. Poorer people in developed countries and people in developing countries may find it harder to get a hand sanitizer with an effective alcohol concentration. Fraudulent labelling of alcohol concentrations has been a problem in Guyana.
Hand sanitizers were first introduced in 1966 in medical settings such as hospitals and healthcare facilities. The product was popularized in the early 1990s.
Alcohol-based hand sanitizer is more convenient compared to hand washing with soap and water in most situations in the healthcare setting. Among healthcare workers, it is generally more effective for hand antisepsis, and better tolerated than soap and water. Hand washing should still be carried out if contamination can be seen or following the use of the toilet.
Hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol or contains a "persistent antiseptic" should be used. Alcohol rubs kill many different kinds of bacteria, including antibiotic resistant bacteria and TB bacteria. They also kill many kinds of viruses, including the flu virus, the common cold virus, and HIV.
90% alcohol rubs are more effective against viruses than most other forms of hand washing. Isopropyl alcohol will kill 99.99 % or more of all non-spore forming bacteria in less than 30 seconds, both in the laboratory and on human skin.
The alcohol in hand sanitizers may not have the 10–15 seconds exposure time required to denature proteins and lyse cells in too low quantities (0.3 ml) or concentrations (below 60%). In environments with high lipids or protein waste (such as food processing), the use of alcohol hand rubs alone may not be sufficient to ensure proper hand hygiene.
For health care settings like hospitals and clinics, optimum alcohol concentration to kill bacteria is 70% to 95%. Products with alcohol concentrations as low as 40% are available in American stores, according to researchers at East Tennessee State University.
Alcohol rub sanitizers kill most bacteria, and fungi, and stop some viruses. Alcohol rub sanitizers containing at least 70% alcohol (mainly ethyl alcohol) kill 99.9% of the bacteria on hands 30 seconds after application and 99.99% to 99.999% in one minute.
For health care, optimal disinfection requires attention to all exposed surfaces such as around the fingernails, between the fingers, on the back of the thumb, and around the wrist. Hand alcohol should be thoroughly rubbed into the hands and on the lower forearm for a duration of at least 30 seconds and then allowed to air dry.
Use of alcohol-based hand gels dries skin less, leaving more moisture in the epidermis, than hand washing with antiseptic/antimicrobial soap and water.
There are certain situations during which hand washing with soap and water are preferred over hand sanitizer, these include: eliminating bacterial spores of Clostridioides difficile, parasites such as Cryptosporidium, and certain viruses like norovirus depending on the concentration of alcohol in the sanitizer (95% alcohol was seen to be most effective in eliminating most viruses). In addition, if hands are contaminated with fluids or other visible contaminates, hand washing is preferred as well as after using the toilet and if discomfort develops from the residue of alcohol sanitizer use. Furthermore, CDC states hand sanitizers are not effective in removing chemicals such as pesticides.
Alcohol gel can catch fire, producing a translucent blue flame. This is due to the flammable alcohol in the gel. Some hand sanitizer gels may not produce this effect due to a high concentration of water or moisturizing agents. There have been some rare instances where alcohol has been implicated in starting fires in the operating room, including a case where alcohol used as an antiseptic pooled under the surgical drapes in an operating room and caused a fire when a cautery instrument was used. Alcohol gel was not implicated.
To minimize the risk of fire, alcohol rub users are instructed to rub their hands until dry, which indicates that the flammable alcohol has evaporated. Igniting alcohol hand rub while using it is rare, but the need for this is underlined by one case of a health care worker using hand rub, removing a polyester isolation gown, and then touching a metal door while her hands were still wet; static electricity produced an audible spark and ignited the hand gel. Fire departments suggest refills for the alcohol-based hand sanitizers can be stored with cleaning supplies away from heat sources or open flames.
Research shows that alcohol hand sanitizers do not pose any risk by eliminating beneficial microorganisms that are naturally present on the skin. The body quickly replenishes the beneficial microbes on the hands, often moving them in from just up the arms where there are fewer harmful microorganisms.
However, alcohol may strip the skin of the outer layer of oil, which may have negative effects on barrier function of the skin. A study also shows that disinfecting hands with an antimicrobial detergent results in a greater barrier disruption of skin compared to alcohol solutions, suggesting an increased loss of skin lipids.
In the United States, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) controls antimicrobial handsoaps and sanitizers as over-the-counter drugs (OTC) because they are intended for topical anti-microbial use to prevent disease in humans.
The FDA requires strict labeling which informs consumers on proper use of this OTC drug and dangers to avoid, including warning adults not to ingest, not to use in the eyes, to keep out of the reach of children, and to allow use by children only under adult supervision. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, there were nearly 12,000 cases of hand sanitizer ingestion in 2006. If ingested, alcohol-based hand sanitizers can cause alcohol poisoning in small children. However, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommends using hand sanitizer with children to promote good hygiene, under supervision, and furthermore recommends parents pack hand sanitizer for their children when traveling, to avoid their contracting disease from dirty hands.
There have been reported incidents of people drinking the gel in prisons and hospitals, where alcohol consumption is not allowed, to become intoxicated leading to its withdrawal from some establishments.
On April 30, 2015, the FDA announced that they were requesting more scientific data based on the safety of hand sanitizer. Emerging science suggests that for at least some health care antiseptic active ingredients, systemic exposure (full body exposure as shown by detection of antiseptic ingredients in the blood or urine) is higher than previously thought, and existing data raise potential concerns about the effects of repeated daily human exposure to some antiseptic active ingredients. This would include hand antiseptic products containing alcohol and triclosan.
Hands must be disinfected before any surgical procedure by hand washing with mild soap and then hand-rubbing with a sanitizer. Surgical disinfection requires a larger dose of the hand-rub and a longer rubbing time than is ordinarily used. It is usually done in two applications according to specific hand-rubbing techniques, EN1499 (hygienic handwash), and EN 1500 (hygienic hand disinfection) to ensure that antiseptic is applied everywhere on the surface of the hand.
Some hand sanitizer products use agents other than alcohol to kill microorganisms, such as povidone-iodine, benzalkonium chloride or triclosan. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the CDC recommends "persistent" antiseptics for hand sanitizers. Persistent activity is defined as the prolonged or extended antimicrobial activity that prevents or inhibits the proliferation or survival of microorganisms after application of the product. This activity may be demonstrated by sampling a site several minutes or hours after application and demonstrating bacterial antimicrobial effectiveness when compared with a baseline level. This property also has been referred to as "residual activity." Both substantive and nonsubstantive active ingredients can show a persistent effect if they substantially lower the number of bacteria during the wash period.
Laboratory studies have shown lingering benzalkonium chloride may be associated with antibiotic resistance in MRSA. Tolerance to alcohol sanitizers may develop in fecal bacteria. Where alcohol sanitizers utilize 62%, or higher, alcohol by weight, only 0.1 to 0.13% of benzalkonium chloride by weight provides equivalent antimicrobial effectiveness.
Triclosan has been shown to accumulate in biosolids in the environment, one of the top seven organic contaminants in waste water according to the National Toxicology Program Triclosan leads to various problems with natural biological systems, and triclosan, when combined with chlorine e.g. from tap water, produces dioxins, a probable carcinogen in humans. However, 90–98% of triclosan in waste water biodegrades by both photolytic or natural biological processes or is removed due to sorption in waste water treatment plants. Numerous studies show that only very small traces are detectable in the effluent water that reaches rivers.
A series of studies show that photodegradation of triclosan produced 2,4-dichlorophenol and 2,8-dichlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (2,8-DCDD). The 2,4-dichlorophenol itself is known to be biodegradable as well as photodegradable. For DCDD, one of the non-toxic compounds of the dioxin family, a conversion rate of 1% has been reported and estimated half-lives suggest that it is photolabile as well. The formation-decay kinetics of DCDD are also reported by Sanchez-Prado et al. (2006) who claim "transformation of triclosan to toxic dioxins has never been shown and is highly unlikely."
Alcohol-free hand sanitizers may be effective immediately while on the skin, but the solutions themselves can become contaminated because alcohol is an in-solution preservative and without it, the alcohol-free solution itself is susceptible to contamination. However, even alcohol-containing hand sanitizers can become contaminated if the alcohol content is not properly controlled or the sanitizer is grossly contaminated with microorganisms during manufacture. In June 2009, alcohol-free Clarcon Antimicrobial Hand Sanitizer was pulled from the US market by the FDA, which found the product contained gross contamination of extremely high levels of various bacteria, including those which can "cause opportunistic infections of the skin and underlying tissues and could result in medical or surgical attention as well as permanent damage". Gross contamination of any hand sanitizer by bacteria during manufacture will result in the failure of the effectiveness of that sanitizer and possible infection of the treatment site with the contaminating organisms.
Alcohol-based hand rubs are extensively used in the hospital environment as an alternative to antiseptic soaps. Hand-rubs in the hospital environment have two applications: hygienic hand rubbing and surgical hand disinfection. Alcohol based hand rubs provide a better skin tolerance as compared to antiseptic soap. Hand rubs also prove to have more effective microbiological properties as compared to antiseptic soaps.
The same ingredients used in over-the-counter hand-rubs are also used in hospital hand-rubs: alcohols such ethanol and isopropanol, sometimes combined with quaternary ammonium cations (quats) such as benzalkonium chloride. Quats are added at levels up to 200 parts per million to increase antimicrobial effectiveness. Although allergy to alcohol-only rubs is rare, fragrances, preservatives and quats can cause contact allergies. These other ingredients do not evaporate like alcohol and accumulate leaving a "sticky" residue until they are removed with soap and water.
The most common brands of alcohol hand rubs include Aniosgel, Avant, Sterillium, Desderman and Allsept S. All hospital hand rubs must conform to certain regulations like EN 12054 for hygienic treatment and surgical disinfection by hand-rubbing. Products with a claim of "99.99% reduction" or 4-log reduction are ineffective in hospital environment, since the reduction must be more than "99.99%".
The hand sanitizer dosing systems for hospitals are designed to deliver a measured amount of the product for staff. They are dosing pumps screwed onto a bottle or are specially designed dispensers with refill bottles. Dispensers for surgical hand disinfection are usually equipped with elbow controlled mechanism or infrared sensors to avoid any contact with the pump.
In 2010 the World Health Organization produced a guide for manufacturing hand sanitizer, which received renewed interest because of shortages of hand sanitizer in the wake of the pandemic. Dozens of liquor and perfume manufactures switched their manufacturing facilities from their normal product to hand sanitizer. In order to keep up with the demand, local distilleries started using their alcohol to make hand sanitizer. Distilleries producing hand sanitizer originally existed in a legal grey area in the United States, until the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau declared that distilleries could produce their sanitizer without authorization.
There are cautions against making your own hand sanitizer. Some widely-circulated home recipes are ineffective or even poisonous.
World Health OrganizationThe has published a guide to producing large quantities of hand sanitizer from chemicals available in developing countries, where commercial hand sanitizer may not be available:
|FORMULATION 1||10-L prep.||Active ingredient (v/v)||FORMULATION 2||10-L prep.||Active ingredient (v/v)|
|Distilled water||added to 10000 mL||18.425%||Distilled water||added to 10000 mL||23.425%|
|Ethanol 96%||8333 mL||80%||Isopropyl alcohol 99.8%||7515 mL||75%|
|Glycerol 98%||145 mL||1.45%||Glycerol 98%||145 mL||1.45%|
|Hydrogen peroxide 3%||417 mL||0.125%||Hydrogen peroxide 3%||417 mL||0.125%|
The WHO formulation are less viscous than commercial sanitizer gel, so like alcohol, they are a greater fire hazard.
Consumer alcohol-based hand sanitizers, and health care "hand alcohol" or "alcohol hand antiseptic agents" exist in liquid, foam, and easy-flowing gel formulations. Products with 60% to 95% alcohol by volume are effective antiseptics. Lower or higher concentrations are less effective; most products contain between 60% and 80% alcohol.
In addition to alcohol (ethanol, isopropanol or n-Propanol), hand sanitizers also contain the following:
- additional antiseptics such as chlorhexidine and quaternary ammonium derivatives,
- sporicides such as hydrogen peroxides that eliminate bacterial spores that may be present in ingredients,
- emollients and gelling agents to reduce skin dryness and irritation,
- a small amount of sterile or distilled water,
- sometimes foaming agents, colorants or fragrances.
Hydrogen peroxide may be added to inactivate spores within bottle of hand sanitizer but does not play a role when the hand sanitizer is used.