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Name: allison
Location: N/A
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Question:
Which works better, antibacterial hand sanitizers, or just plain soap and water?



Replies:
Soap and water removes more than just bacteria. Soap and water is your best bet.

Steve Sample


For that answer I would direct you to a few web sites:
www.cnn.com:80/health/9808/05/antibacterial.warning/index.html
www.cnn.com:80/health/9909/16/killer.ap/index.html
and
www.microbe.org and go to the "wash up" icon. They have a whole
section devoted to handwashing.

Good luck

Van Hoeck


It depends on the need.
For a surgeon hand sanitizers are essential, and they have to be applied correctly. There is a famous story of a surgeon who refused to use them because he was allergic to the substance, and he just washed his hands with soap vigorously, and of course used surgical gloves. Nevertheless, he infected several patients with Staphilocccus aureus, a bacteria that lives on the skin harmless, but that can cause severe infections in patients when it is helped entering the body through wounds. The surgeon was caught. So for serious disinfection (also when handling contaminated material) soap is not enough. It is for normal hand-cleaning.

Dr. Wassenaar


Keep in mind that what you are trying to do is to reduce pathogenic bacteria, or the bacteria that cause disease, from forming on your hands. Your goal is NOT to kill all bacteria on your hands. Most bacteria are not harmful and some actually help you by taking up space that harmful bacteria would want to use. So if you were to culture your hands before and after handwashing, you wouldn't notice much of a difference in numbers of bacteria. You would notice a difference in the KINDS of bacteria.

Van Hoeck



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