Panic is the worst response to a crisis. Yet it has become increasingly common as the coronavirus pandemic spreads.
While individuals usually make rational, informed decisions, the masses respond far more negatively to collective threats.
Viral videos of customers fighting over toiletries as if they’re in the Thunderdome and not their local Harris Teeter is but the latest example.
While self-quarantining, if appropriate, and preventative measures like hand washing are vital to containing the spread of disease, numerous Americans have unknowingly purchased hand sanitizers that don’t prevent the coronavirus. Even some name brand products, including Purell and Germ-X, will be ineffective.
The hard truth is that when it comes to the 2019 novel coronavirus, not all hand sanitizers and disinfectant wipes are created equal. Only those containing at least 60% alcohol or more have the muscle to kill the microorganisms behind the infection.
Non-alcoholic substitutes contain benzalkonium chloride, which doesn’t have the same effectiveness.
We must realize this difference given the realities that coronavirus can survive on hard surfaces for 72 hours and that although healthy young adults may not be particularly at risk, they can infect those more susceptible who will need a high level of care.
Lab Pro further explains how varying concentrations of alcohol and other ingredients make a big difference in the germ-killing power of products like hand sanitizer, which have become increasingly in demand. (Lab Pro)
Between the concentrations of 60% and 90%, Isopropyl alcohol is a very effective agent against microbial bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Higher concentrations don’t generate a much more desirable effectiveness against bacteria, fungi and viruses. This is because, there has to be a significant enough presence of water with the Isopropyl alcohol in order to be effective. And this percentage of water needs to be at least more than 10% within the solution. And the mixture of 30% water with 70% Isopropyl alcohol works best.
The reason water is so important is because it acts as a catalyst and has a major role in denaturing the proteins of cell membranes of vegetative cells. 70% IPA solutions are very effective in breaching the cell wall fully. Also, the presence of water slows down evaporation and increases the surface contact time with the membrane. With 91% IPA, the evaporation is instant and protein coagulates, rendering the effect of the IPA greatly reduced.
This means that 91% IPA takes a greater time to act and doesn’t kill as much bacteria as 70% IPA. The latter is also cheaper.
Note: These chemicals are meant to be used for research, industrial work, cleaning or disinfecting, hence they shouldn’t be toyed with or kept near young children or infants.
To recap: stay calm and when it comes to using hand sanitizer on yourself and disinfectant wipes to clean – be mindful.