Benzalkonium chloride sanitizer

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Hand Sanitizer Update: COVID-19, Methanol, Benzalkonium Chloride, Testing, Regulation and Outlook

Read the full article in the June 2021 digital edition. . .

By the beginning of 2021, it became apparent that the COVID-19 pandemic would endure well into the New Year. In the medium term, experts predict it is unlikely that COVID-19 will disappear,1 but it will instead become endemic and accepted as a health risk, similarly to flu. However, COVID-19 will require a fundamentally different approach than the usual response to flu.

With flu, public health measures such as hand sanitization, masking, social distancing, contact tracing, quarantining and isolation are usually abandoned once community transmission becomes established. On the other hand, COVID-19 is significantly more lethal than most forms of influenza, and elimination of the disease by vaccination is preferable to the achievement of herd immunity by widespread infection. However, the current form of COVID-19 and its variants will likely continue as a public health concern since the global penetration of this pandemic could make it difficult for vaccines to confer herd immunity ahead of the evolution of variant strains of the virus. This will be exacerbated by the zoonotic characteristic of this virus; that is, it appears to be communicable between human beings and animals.

Moreover, the RNA genome of coronaviruses is the largest among all RNA viruses2 and the frequent recombination of its genetic material results in new strains with altered virulence.3 As coronavirus variants evolve, repeated vaccination will likely be necessary, and public health preventatives such as masking, hand sanitization and physical distancing will need to persist. This is emphasized in a report from McKinsey & Company that concludes populations that adequately and promptly adopt public health preventative measures could achieve a much better economic outcome than countries attempting a “balancing act.4

The rapid geographical spread of viruses is enabled by fast and easy international travel, and this poses the risk of further pandemics. This is the third time, within the last two decades, that an animal coronavirus has cross-infected humans to cause an epidemic, and following COVID-19, it is likely that the global community will be sensitized to the possibility of further devastating pandemics. The perceived continuing uncertainty will encourage proactive preventative measures to protect health and livelihoods, including diplomatic efforts for global cooperation by responsible governments to detect and control emerging diseases, and the implementation of corresponding hygiene measures as the norm for the successful functioning of nations.5 In this context, preventative measures can be expected to continue: respiratory control by masking and social distancing to lower the potential of aerosol transmission, and hand hygiene to limit the transfer of pathogens by contact.6, 7

Importance of Hand Hygiene

As news of the COVID-19 pandemic broke, the importance of hand hygiene was saturation-broadcasted by noted epidemiologists and public health experts. Universal hygiene measures were especially pertinent because infected people can transmit the virus even when they have no, or only mild, symptoms,8, 9 and this can hamper contact tracing and control of the pandemic.

Hand hygiene is a cornerstone of infection prevention10, 11 and its purpose is to minimize the colonization and the transmission of infection among health care workers and the public. Hand hygiene is imperative to prevent transmission of disease via the respiratory route and the fecal-oral route because people habitually touch their faces. Although the need for hand hygiene came to the forefront during the COVID-19 pandemic, its importance extends to many other sources of infection. Before the current pandemic, Linda Homa, the Manager of Clinical Affairs at Ecolab, expressed this poignantly when she stated, “75,000 patients die every year from health care-associated infections and that’s unacceptable. Hand hygiene is the number one way to prevent the transmission of health care-associated infections. We’re spending our time on the things that matter most.”12

Hand hygiene includes hand-washing with soap and water, hand-washing with antiseptic washes, and the use of antiseptic hand rubs, most commonly in the form of alcohol-based hand sanitizers.13 Globally, the vast majority of health care workers is aware of the need for hand hygiene and they are not antipathetic to the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers. However, these principles of hand hygiene are not always followed due to lack of availability, relatively high cost, forgetfulness and/or the onset of skin or ocular irritation with frequent hand-washing or hand sanitization.14

Antiseptic Rub or Hand-washing?

Consistent with Lister’s 19th century antiseptic regime, soap hand-washing coupled with an alcohol gel sanitizer was shown to be more effective than either agent used alone, and the antiseptic activity persisted for longer.15 Also, the increased reduction of murine norovirus was observed with a wash-sanitizer regimen rather than washing with 70% ethanol alone.16

For the purpose of hand hygiene, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommend washing hands with soap and water whenever possible, to remove virtually all types of pathogens. Hand-washing is preferable for soiled hands, as hand sanitizers cannot effectively penetrate the layer of dirt before reaching pathogens on the skin surface. It is important to remove soil from hands before treating them with a hand sanitizer. In fact, hand-washing with soap and water alone has been found to be more effective than alcohol-based rubs for hands soiled with meat.17

Moreover, potentially harmful substances can be washed away but they cannot be removed by leave-on hand sanitizers. However, hand-washing facilities are not readily available at work or public places, and in instances where hand sanitization is needed frequently, the use of alcohol-based antiseptic rubs is an effective and convenient infection-preventive measure.18

In many work settings, alcohol-based hand sanitizers are more versatile, convenient, quick and less irritating than hand-washing with soap and water. However, hand sanitizers work only when formulated properly and used correctly,19, 20 and the choice of container, closure and dispenser is also vital in dispensing the correct amount of the sanitizer for each use.

In the United States, hand sanitizers are regulated as OTC drugs and in the Final Rule for Antiseptic Hand-Rubs, the FDA allows only three active ingredients to be used for hand sanitizers.64 The three ingredients are ethyl alcohol, isopropanol and benzalkonium chloride. Note that these ingredients are not “approved” by the FDA. Rather, they are classified as Category III and have been allowed as eligible actives during the time in which data is being generated to determine if they could be recognized as “Generally Safe and Effective” for use as antiseptic rubs.

. . .Read more in the June 2021 digital edition. . .

References

  1. Charumilind, S., Craven, M., Lamb, J., Sabow, A. and Willson, M. (2021, Jan). When will the COVID-19 pandemic end? Available at: https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/healthcare-systems-and-services/our-insights/when-will-the-covid-19-pandemic-end#
  2. Lai, M.M. and Cavanagh, D. (1997). The molecular biology of coronaviruses. Adv Virus Res 48 1-100.
  3. Graham, R.L. and Baric, R.S. (2010). Recombination, reservoirs, and the modular spike: Mechanisms of coronavirus cross-species transmission. J Virol 84 3134-3146.
  4. Charumilind, S., Greenberg, E., Lamb, J. and Singhal, S. (2020, Aug). COVID-19: Saving thousands of lives and trillions in livelihoods. Available at https://ecambiomed.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/McKinsey-Company-COVID-19-Saving-thousands-of-lives-and-trillions-in-livelihoods-vF.pdf
  5. Skeggs, D. (2021, Feb). The Covid-19 pandemic: Lessons for our future. Available at: https://bit.ly/3vsotky
  6. Chu, D.K., Akl, E.A., Duda, S., Solo, K., Yaacoub, S. and Schünemann, H.J. (2020, Jun 27). Physical distancing, face masks and eye protection to prevent person-to-person transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19: A systematic review and meta-analysis. COVID-19 Systematic Urgent Review Group Effort (SURGE) study authors. Lancet. 395(10242) 1973-1987.
  7. Rachana, A.R., Davalagi, S., Kusum, M.S. and Malatesh, U. (2020). Effectiveness of non-pharmacological interventions in containment of COVID-19 pandemic. Intl J Health Systems and Implementation Res 4(3) 5-21.
  8. Lai, C.C., Shih, T.P., Ko, W.C., Tang, H.J. and Hsueh, P.R. (2020). Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19): The epidemic and the challenges. Int J Antimicrob Agents, 55(3)1 05924.
  9. World Health Organization (2020, Mar 29). Modes of transmission of the virus causing COVID-19: Implications for IPC precaution recommendations. Available at: https://bit.ly/3eFPr1o
  10. Mehtar, S. and Bearman, G. (2018). Guide to Infection Control in the Hospital. Int Soc Infect Dis
  11. Sharma, R.P., Dutta S., Kumar, T., Singh, S. and Sharma, A. (2020, Sep-Oct). Role of alcohol based hand rubs (ABHR) in the COVID-19 Era: A concise review. Available at: https://globalresearchonline.net/journalcontents/v64-1/32.pdf
  12. American Cleaning Institute. (Accessed 2021, Apr 28). Preventing the transmission of infections in hospitals. Available at: https://www.cleaninginstitute.org/sustainable-cleaning/covid-19-report/preventing-transmission-infections-hospitals
  13. Gold, N.A. and Avva, U. (2020). Alcohol sanitizer. Available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK513254/
  14. Assefa, D., Melaku, T., Bayisa, B. and Alemu, S. (2021). Knowledge, attitude and self-reported performance and challenges of hand hygiene using alcohol-based hand sanitizers among healthcare workers during COVID-19 pandemic at a Tertiary Hospital: A cross-sectional study. Available at: https://doi.org/10.2147/IDR.S291690
  15. Paulson, D.S., et al. (1999). A close look at alcohol gel as an antimicrobial sanitizing agent. Amer J Infection Control 27 332-8.
  16. Edmonds, S.L., et al. (2012). Hand hygiene regimens for the reduction of risk in food service environments. J Food Protection 75 1303-9.
  17. Charbonneau, D.L., et al. (2000). A method of assessing the efficacy of hand sanitizers: Use of real soil encountered in the food service industry. J Food Protection 63 495-501.
  18. CDC (2019). Show me the science–When and how to use hand sanitizer in community settings. Available at https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/show-me-the-science-hand-sanitizer.html
  19. Edmonds, S.I., Macinga, S.L., Mays-Suko, D.R., Duley, P., Rutter, C., Jarvis, J. and Arbogast, W.R. (2012). Comparative efficacy of commercially available alcohol-based hand rubs and World Health Organization-recommended hand rubs: Formulation matters. Amer J Infection Control 40 521-5.
  20. Hadaway, A. (2020). Hand-washing: Clean hands save lives. Consum Health Internet 24 43-49
  21. FDA (2020, Apr 1). U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Code of Federal Regulations, Title 21, Volume 4. Available at https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?CFRPart=211&showFR=1

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Sours: https://www.cosmeticsandtoiletries.com/research/chemistry/Hand-Sanitizer-Update-COVID-19-Methanol-Benzalkonium-Chloride-Testing-Regulation-and-Outlook-574540231.html

En Español

FDA is working with U.S. government partners including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), medical product manufacturers, and international partners to address the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Find the most recent FDA updates on our Coronavirus Disease 2019 page.

Test your knowledge about hand sanitizer. Take our hand sanitizer quiz.

Q: How can I prevent COVID-19?

A: The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus and to get vaccinated. In addition, the CDC recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases. They include:

Wash your hands often with plain soap and water. The CDC recommends washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, the CDC recommends using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Learn more about safely using hand sanitizer.

Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others. Find more information about how to select, wear, and clean your mask.

Get the COVID-19 vaccine. When you are fully vaccinated, you may be able to start doing some things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic.

Follow CDC guidance on large gatherings, social distancing and mask wearing, based on if you are fully vaccinated or not.

Learn how to protect your family and about the importance of getting your flu vaccine.

Q. Is hand sanitizer effective against COVID-19?
A. One of the best ways to prevent the spread of infections and decrease the risk of getting sick is by washing your hands with plain soap and water, advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is essential, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing one’s nose. If soap and water are not available, CDC recommends consumers use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Q. Should I be using antibacterial soap to wash my hands?
A. The best way to prevent the spread of infections and decrease the risk of getting sick is by washing your hands with plain soap and water, advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is essential, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing one’s nose. There is currently no evidence that consumer antiseptic wash products (also known as antibacterial soaps) are any more effective at preventing illness than washing with plain soap and water. In fact, some data suggests that antibacterial ingredients could do more harm than good in the long-term and more research is needed.

For additional information, see Topical Antiseptic Products: Hand Sanitizers and Antibacterial Soaps.

Q. What do I do if I get a rash or other reaction to hand sanitizer?
A. Call your doctor if you experience a serious reaction to hand sanitizer. FDA encourages consumers and health care professionals to report adverse events experienced with the use of hand sanitizers to FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program:

  • Complete and submit the report online; or
  • Download and complete the form, then submit it via fax at 1-800-FDA-0178.
  • Include as much information as you can about the product that caused the reaction, including the product name, the manufacturer, and the lot number (if available).

Q. Many surface cleaners and disinfectants say they can be used against SARS-CoV-2. What does this mean? Can I use these products on my hands or body to prevent or treat the virus?
A. Always follow the instructions on household cleaners. Do not use disinfectant sprays or wipes on your skin because they may cause skin and eye irritation. Disinfectant sprays or wipes are not intended for use on humans or animals. Disinfectant sprays or wipes are intended for use on hard, non-porous surfaces. Do not ingest or inhale disinfectant sprays.

View the current list of products that meet EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19. See Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

Q. If I add alcohol to non-alcohol hand sanitizer, will this be better to prevent COVID-19? Can I make my own hand sanitizer?
A. No. Addition of alcohol to an existing non-alcohol hand sanitizer is unlikely to result in an effective product. There are no antiseptic drug products, including hand sanitizer, that are approved by FDA to prevent or treat COVID-19. FDA recommends that consumers do not make their own hand sanitizer. If made incorrectly, hand sanitizer can be ineffective, and there have been reports of skin burns from homemade hand sanitizer. The agency lacks verifiable information on the methods being used to prepare hand sanitizer at home and whether they are safe for use on human skin.

Q. Does FDA regulate all hand sanitizers? Do hand sanitizers come with product information on their labeling?
A. Hand sanitizers are over-the-counter (OTC) drugs regulated by FDA.

Hand sanitizers that meet FDA’s OTC drug review conditions will include a “Drug Facts” panel with product information on the labeling. Consumers should assure they are following the warnings and precautions described on this label, particularly regarding use in children. The Drug Facts label will also describe the ingredients in the product.

Q. Do hand sanitizers have an expiration date? Are they still effective after the expiration date?
A. OTC drug products generally must list an expiration date unless they have data showing that they are stable for more than 3 years and their labeling does not bear dosage limitations. FDA does not have information on the stability or effectiveness of drug products past their expiration date (See 21 CFR 211.137). Hand sanitizer that was produced under FDA’s withdrawn temporary policies for hand sanitizer production and compounding may not have an expiration date listed because they are expected to be used during this public health emergency.

Q. Where should hand sanitizer be stored?
A. Hand sanitizer should be stored out of reach, and sight, of children. It should not be stored above 105°F (for example, it should not be stored in a car during the summer months).

Q. Is hand sanitizer flammable?
A. Yes. Hand sanitizer is flammable and should be stored away from heat or flame. Hand sanitizer should be rubbed into the hands until they feel completely dry before continuing activities that may involve heat, sparks, static electricity, or open flames.

Q. Is hand sanitizer dangerous for children?
A. For children under six years of age, hand sanitizer should be used with adult supervision. When used according to the directions on the Drug Facts Label, hand sanitizer is not dangerous for children.

Hand sanitizer is dangerous when ingested by children. Drinking only a small amount of hand sanitizer can cause alcohol poisoning in children. However, there is no need to be concerned if your children eat with or lick their hands after using hand sanitizer. It is also important to keep the product out of the eyes.

Every month, there are hundreds of calls to Poison Control for unintentional ingestion of hand sanitizer. In March 2020 (during the COVID-19 pandemic), calls to Poison Control related to hand sanitizer increased by 79% compared to March of 2019. The majority of these calls were for unintentional exposures in children 5 years of age and younger. Therefore, it is very important to store hand sanitizer out of reach and monitor children when they are using hand sanitizer.

See Safely Using Hand Sanitizer for more information.

Q. What should you do if your child ingests hand sanitizer?
A. If your child ingests hand sanitizer, call poison control or a medical professional immediately.

Q. What are denaturants and why are they added to hand sanitizer?
A. Denaturants are added to alcohol to make it less appealing to ingest. Denatured alcohol is used in hand sanitizer to deter children from unintentional ingestion – the denatured alcohol makes the hand sanitizer taste bad so children will not want to continue once they have had a taste. There are a number of adverse events every year resulting from intentional or unintentional ingestion of hand sanitizer, which is a particular concern for young children.

Q. How can I find hand sanitizers listed with FDA, or verify that a company has listed its product with FDA?
A. FDA publishes product listing information provided by the companies that make the drug on the National Drug Code (NDC) Directory. This listing does not mean the drug is approved by FDA. Anyone can look up a drug product and download the information by searching on its NDC, company name or drug name. For a list of all hand sanitizers, choose the proprietary name search, and search for the term “hand sanitizer.”

Q. Is the spraying of aerosolized disinfectant onto humans via tunnels, walkways, chambers and similar systems effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19?
A. FDA does not recommend spraying humans with aerosolized disinfectant.  There is currently no data to demonstrate that this method is effective in treating or reducing the spread of COVID-19.

Surface disinfectants or sprays should not be used on humans or animals. They are intended for use on hard, non-porous surfaces.  CDC provides information regarding disinfectant practices for surfaces in the Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools, and Homes.  CDC states you should never eat, drink, breathe or inject disinfectants into your body or apply directly to your skin as they can cause serious harm.

Human antiseptic drugs, such as those permitted in hand sanitizers, are intended for use on human skin but are not intended for aerosolization. In addition, hand sanitizers are intended for use on the hands, and should not be used over larger body surfaces, ingested, inhaled, or injected.

Q: What does it mean when the label of my hand sanitizer says “alcohol”?
A: Hand sanitizers labeled as containing the term “alcohol,” used by itself, are expected to contain ethanol (also known as ethyl alcohol). Only two alcohols are permitted as active ingredients in alcohol-based hand sanitizers – ethanol (ethyl alcohol) or isopropyl alcohol (isopropanol or 2-propanol). However, the term “alcohol,” used by itself, on hand sanitizer labels specifically refers to ethanol only.

Methanol and 1-propanol are not acceptable ingredients in hand sanitizer and can be toxic to humans.

Visit Is Your Hand Sanitizer on FDA’s List of Products You Should Not Use? for more information.

Q. Is it ok to use non-alcohol-based hand sanitizer instead of alcohol-based hand sanitizer?Is it ok to use hand sanitizer with benzalkonium chloride instead of alcohol-based hand sanitizer? Is non-alcohol-based hand sanitizer effective against COVID-19?
A. There are no antiseptic drug products, including hand sanitizer, that are approved by FDA to prevent or treat COVID-19. One of the best ways to prevent the spread of infections and decrease the risk of getting sick is by washing your hands with plain soap and water, advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is essential, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing one’s nose. If soap and water are not available, CDC recommends consumers use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% ethanol.

While they are not alcohol-based, and thus not recommended by CDC, there are some hand sanitizer products containing benzalkonium chloride as an active ingredient that may be legally marketed if they meet the requirements for marketing under section 505G of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. However, as noted above, there are no hand sanitizers, including those containing benzalkonium chloride, that are legally marketed specifically for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19. Hand sanitizers using active ingredients other than alcohol (ethanol), isopropyl alcohol, or benzalkonium chloride are not legally marketed, and FDA recommends that consumers avoid their use.

Q. What is the risk of using a hand sanitizer that contains methanol (wood alcohol)?
A: FDA is warning consumers and health care professionals about hand sanitizers that contain methanol, also known as wood alcohol, because it is a dangerous and toxic substance. Methanol can cause serious side effects when absorbed through the skin and can cause blindness or death when swallowed. Do not use any products on this list of hand sanitizers with potential methanol contamination, and continue checking this list often as it is being updated daily. Check your hand sanitizer products to see if they are  on this list and dispose of them  immediately if they are. Most hand sanitizers found to contain methanol do not list it as an ingredient on the label (since it is not an acceptable ingredient in the product), so it’s important to check FDA’s list to see if the company or product is included. Visit FDA Updates on Hand Sanitizers with Methanol for more information.

Q. What should people do that have been exposed to hand sanitizer with potential methanol contamination?
A: Methanol exposure can result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death. Although people using these products on their hands are at risk for methanol poisoning, young children who accidentally swallow these products and adolescents and adults who drink these products as an alcohol (ethanol) substitute are most at risk. People who have been exposed to hand sanitizer containing methanol and are experiencing symptoms should seek immediate medical treatment for potential reversal of toxic effects of methanol poisoning.

Q: What should I do with hand sanitizer that contains methanol (wood alcohol)?
A: If you have one of the products on this list of hand sanitizers with potential methanol contamination, you should immediately stop using it and dispose of the product, ideally in a hazardous waste container. Because these hand sanitizers contain significant amounts of methanol, do not pour these products down the drain or flush them. Contact your local waste management and recycling center for more information on hazardous waste disposal.

  • Content current as of:

  • Regulated Product(s)

    Health Topic(s)

Sours: https://www.fda.gov/drugs/information-drug-class/qa-consumers-hand-sanitizers-and-covid-19
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Patch Test of Benzalkonium Chloride Disinfectant Spray

  • Proportion of Participants With Skin Irritation Scores at 24 Hours [ Time Frame: Baseline to 24 hours following product application ]

    Irritation potential of the treatments was assessed by proportion of the irritation scores by a trained dermatologist. Skin Irritation reaction was categorized as: 0=No visible reaction; 1= Weak Erythema (Redness); 2=Erythema, Infiltration, Papule; 3= Erythema, Edema, Papule, Blister; 4=Erythema, Edema, Extreme Blistering. For the product to be deemed as non-irritant to skin, requirements were proportion of score of 2 should not be more than 1 out of 15 participants and no cases of score of 3 or 4.


  • Proportion of Participants With Skin Irritation Scores at 48 Hours [ Time Frame: Baseline to 48 hours following first product application ]

    Irritation potential of the treatments was assessed by proportion of the irritation scores by a trained dermatologist. Skin Irritation reaction was categorized as: 0=No visible reaction; 1= Weak Erythema (Redness); 2=Erythema, Infiltration, Papule; 3= Erythema, Edema, Papule, Blister; 4=Erythema, Edema, Extreme Blistering. For the product to be deemed as non-irritant to skin, requirements were proportion of score of 2 should not be more than 1 out of 15 participants and no cases of score of 3 or 4.


  • Proportion of Participants With Skin Irritation Scores at 72 Hours [ Time Frame: Baseline to 72 hours following first product application ]

    Irritation potential of the treatments was assessed by proportion of the irritation scores by a trained dermatologist. Skin Irritation reaction was categorized as: 0=No visible reaction; 1= Weak Erythema (Redness); 2=Erythema, Infiltration, Papule; 3= Erythema, Edema, Papule, Blister; 4=Erythema, Edema, Extreme Blistering. For the product to be deemed as non-irritant to skin, requirements were proportion of score of 2 should not be more than 1 out of 15 participants and no cases of score of 3 or 4.


  • Sours: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01762982

    BioArmor Launches Benzalkonium Chloride-based Hand Sanitizer

     

    Related: U.S. FDA Hand Sanitizer Solutions Explained

    In an FDA statement, benzalkonium chloride is described as being as effective as alcohol-based hand sanitizers. The ingredient has been used as an antiseptic for germ-killing, to prevent infections and as a first-aid treatment to keep skin healthy.

    The ingredient kills germs by disrupting the outer cell membranes, which results in a physical kill (lysing) of the microorganism. This physical kill ensures microorganisms do not adapt or become resistant to the antimicrobial product.

    According to the company, benzalkonium chloride is preferred over alcohol-based hand sanitizers since formulations that contain > 60% alcohol are known to dry out the hands and destroy not just harmful germs, but also skin's natural flora.

    Previously: What is Skin Care-based Hand Sanitizer All About?

    Killing the “good" germs also means surfaces become susceptible to issues such as infections and skin damage, and when alcohol-based hand sanitizer has dried or evaporated from the skin, it leaves hands highly susceptible to re-contamination and/or infection.

    Based on benzalkonium chloride, BioArmor Silky Gloves hand sanitizer is promoted as containing no toxic chemicals and is comprised of a natural formula to safely protect the consumer and the environment from the spread of harmful germs, bacteria and micro-organism growth. Furthermore, the product includes three additives for improved skin protection, moisturization and skin-soothing benefits; i.e., aloe, vitamin B5 and blueberry extract.

    Benzalkonium chloride is reportedly non-toxic, non-flammable and safe. Formulations regulated by the FDA require benzalkonium chloride, on average, at a level of 0.13%.

    Sours: https://www.cosmeticsandtoiletries.com/formulating/function/antimicrobial/BioArmor-Launches-Benzalkonium-Chloride-based-Hand-Sanitizer-570837801.html

    Sanitizer benzalkonium chloride

    Alcohol-free hand sanitizer just as effective against COVID as alcohol-based versions

    Illustration of hand sanitizer in use

    A new study from researchers at Brigham Young University finds that alcohol-free hand sanitizer is just as effective at disinfecting surfaces from the COVID-19 virus as alcohol-based products.

    The BYU scientists who conducted the study suspected that the CDC's preference for alcohol sanitizer stemmed from as-yet limited research on what really works to disinfect SARS-CoV-2. To explore other options, they treated samples of the novel coronavirus with benzalkonium chloride, which is commonly used in alcohol-free hand sanitizers, and several other quaternary ammonium compounds regularly found in disinfectants. In most of the test cases, the compounds wiped out at least 99.9% of the virus within 15 seconds.

    "Our results indicate that alcohol-free hand sanitizer works just as well, so we could, maybe even should, be using it to control COVID," said lead study author Benjamin Ogilvie.

    Alcohol-free hand sanitizers, which are also effective against common cold and flu viruses, have a number of advantages over their alcohol-based counterparts, Ogilvie explained.

    "Benzalkonium chloride can be used in much lower concentrations and does not cause the familiar 'burn' feeling you might know from using alcohol hand sanitizer. It can make life easier for people who have to sanitize hands a lot, like healthcare workers, and maybe even increase compliance with sanitizing guidelines," he said.

    In the face of shortages, "having more options to disinfect hospitals and public places is critical," added Ph.D. student Antonio Solis Leal, who conducted the study's experiments.

    Switching to alcohol-free hand sanitizer is logistically simple as well.

    "People were already using it before 2020," said BYU professor and coauthor Brad Berges. "It just seems like during this pandemic, the non-alcohol-based hand sanitizers have been thrown by the wayside because the government was saying, 'we don't know that these work,' due to the novelty of the virus and the unique lab conditions required to run tests on it."

    Since benzalkonium chloride typically works well against viruses surrounded by lipids--like COVID--the researchers believed that it would be a good fit for disinfecting the coronavirus.

    To test their hypothesis, they put COVID samples in test tubes and then mixed in different compounds, including .2% benzalkonium chloride solution and three commercially available disinfectants containing quaternary ammonium compounds, as well as soil loads and hard water.

    Working fast to simulate real-world conditions--because hand sanitizer has to disinfect quickly to be effective--they neutralized the disinfecting compounds, extracted the virus from the tubes, and placed the virus particles on living cells. The virus failed to invade and kill the cells, indicating that it had been deactivated by the compounds.

    "A couple of others have looked at using these compounds against COVID," said Berges, "but we're the first to actually look at it in a practical timeframe, using four different options, with the realistic circumstance of having dirt on your hands before you use it."

    The team believes their findings "may actually provide a change in government directions about hand sanitizer," Berges said.

    Ogilvie hopes that reintroducing alcohol-free sanitizers into the market can relieve the shortages--and reduce the chances of people encountering some potentially "sketchy" alcohol sanitizers that have cropped up in response to the demand.

    "Hand sanitizer can play an especially important role in controlling COVID," he concluded. "This is information that could affect millions of people."

    ###

    The study is published online in the Journal of Hospital Infection.



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    Sours: https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/535460
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