You might have seen it in different forms, colors, packaging, and viscidities yet one thing remains common- everywhere you head up to these days it is the new essential. Sanitizer and disinfectants have taken over the world within the last two years since the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak started.
In 2020, sanitizer sales shot up exponentially and broke all records after the disease started spreading across the globe. People started stocking up them over groceries. But are they effective? Do they even kill germs and harmful pathogens like the coronavirus? And if they do, is it scientifically proven?
WHAT ARE SANITIZERS?
Hand sanitizers are liquids, gels, or foams used to kill harmful pathogens on hands. As scientific research indicates, alcohol-based sanitizers are quite effective in killing many bacteria and viruses that might be pathogenic to humans.
HOW DO THEY WORK?
The key ingredient in the majority of sanitizer and disinfectants is isopropyl-alcohol. Chemically, it is quite similar to ethanol present in that classic bottle of Jack Daniels whisky or Absolut vodka that makes you tipsy. Both ethanol and isopropyl alcohol belong to the same class of organic compounds, yet are used for different purposes.
Isopropyl alcohol works by breaking down the protein structure of these germs by splitting away from their genetic material, which simply kills them. Solutions with alcohol concentrations as low as 30% have shown disinfectant properties and it tends to increase with an increase in the alcohol concentration.
TYPES OF SANITIZERS
Sanitizers can be classified mainly into two categories based on their active ingredient.
- Alcohol-Based: The active ingredient is alcohol usually in the form of ethanol, isopropyl alcohol, or propanol.
- Alcohol-free: The active ingredient is an antimicrobial compound not from the family of alcohol such as benzalkonium chloride.
Sanitizers are available in different forms and each one has a specific utility. In this section, we will shed light on the forms and utility of sanitizers available in the market.
|Type of Sanitizer||Utility|
|Alcohol-based||Effective for day to day use|
|Alcohol-free||Gentle on skin and safe for kids|
|Gel-based||Easy to carry, available in different sizes|
|Sanitizer Spray||Low viscosity makes it easier to spread and cover higher surface areas effectively|
|Sanitizer wipes||Easy to use while traveling|
DISEASES THAT CAN BE PREVENTED BY SANITIZATION
Lately, there has been a lot of research on the kinds of germs that are killed by alcohol-based sanitizers and the results are surprising. Sanitizers turn out to be effective against a plethora of bacteria, viruses, fungi, bacteriophages, and other different disease-causing microorganisms. This means, practicing sanitization not only prevents the spread of the coronavirus but various other germs that can cause serious illnesses like respiratory infections, gastrointestinal infections, colds, flu, etc.
COST AND PROCESS OF SANITIZATION
The type of sanitizer, cost of sanitization, and the amount of chemical required to disinfect a particular space usually vary from one situation to another. The prime objective of sanitization is to inactivate or eliminate harmful pathogens that might cause harmful diseases amongst humans.
The location of sanitization is a vital factor that determines the cost, type, and procedure of disinfecting. Hospitals, clinics, dispensaries require rigorous and regular cleaning to avoid infections. Therefore, the chemicals used are strong, the cost is relatively higher and the procedure is time-consuming.
On the other hand, disinfection carried out at homes would require chemically less strong sanitizers, with lowered cost and time. Places with common equipment and appliances such as gyms, cafeterias, offices, ATMs, and banks should be sanitized regularly with moderately strong disinfectants to avoid the spread of COVID-19.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends regular sanitization of hands, frequently touched surfaces at homes and offices such as doorknobs, handles, regulators, etc. Moreover, to ensure optimum safety floors, carpets, matrices, phones, laptops, computers, and other surfaces that remain in constant touch should be sanitized at regular intervals. Apart from edibles, almost all surfaces can be disinfected via sanitizers based on the usage and frequency of contact.
The second wave of COVID-19 has again led to the temporary closure of gyms to prevent the spread of coronavirus. If you’ve been missing your workout regime but are skeptical about the sanitization process Fitso facilities can bring a smile onto your face. All Fitso facilities are regularly sanitized and fumigated via sanitization fogging machines to maintain optimum hygiene. Moreover, COVID protocols are followed positively to ensure the safety of visitors. You can indulge in your favourite sport without worrying about the wrath of coronavirus.
A lot of people have been concerned about the process of cleaning and disinfecting vegetables, fruits, and other edibles during the pandemic. The first thing to understand here is that sanitizers, disinfectants, soaps, and other cleaning agents contain different chemicals that are not fit for human consumption.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that vegetables, fruits, and other edibles should be disinfected by a two-step process.
- In the first step, vegetables should be sprayed with a mixture of one part vinegar and three parts of water. The acidic properties of vinegar help disinfect harmful pathogens that might be present on the surface of the edibles.
- In the next step, the edibles should be soaked in a brine solution (water and salt) followed by rinsing them under running water to complete the process.
SIDE-EFFECTS OF SANITIZATION
Every coin has two faces and the same goes for sanitizers. There are some harmful side effects of these products. Users should be aware of them to make sure they don’t end up in a troublesome situation. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the most common side effects of sanitizers and disinfectants-
- Skin irritation
- Dry skin
- Antibiotic resistance
- Eye and skin irritation
- Liver damage on consumption
IN A NUTSHELL
Washing hands is the best way to prevent the spread of pathogenic diseases. However, in the absence of soap, hand sanitizers are the best alternative. Following the right lifestyle, and engaging in sports will help you to boost your immunity that’ll help you to stay fit and healthy. Whether it is badminton, swimming, or TT whatever your cup of tea is we’ve got it for you with extra care and protection because your health is our priority. Enjoy your favorite sport at regularly sanitized Fitso facilities and take a step towards fitness in a fun and safe way!