Here is an explanation of different approaches and technologies available to keep the surfaces that we interact with daily clean and safe. While some may see these classifications as competing technologies, most work together or augment one another to help us stay healthy and productive on our journeys through everyday life.
There are a variety of antimicrobial application products on the market, differing in medium of application (liquid, gel, wipes) and primary active ingredient (ethanol, hydrogen peroxide). A few even contain SafeHandles essential ingredient (silver). None of them offer a durable film with their antimicrobial agents embedded, that can be applied and left in place with long-lasting antibacterial effectiveness against hand-to-mouth, eye or nose transmission of surface-borne pathogens. One of the revelations of Bryce Kirkpatrick’s thesis at Arizona State University is that consistent application of these other forms of antimicrobial products is difficult to achieve because those assigned the task of applying them are among the lowest paid and least English-fluent members of the hospital’s staff. With SafeHandles, there are no mixing ratios or saturation levels to calculate or monitor. It is essentially a peel-and-stick process.
Competing in the marketplace for the creation of clean hands and handles surfaces there are a variety of categories as well. Antibacterial refers to the ability to eliminate or reduce bacteria only. Antimicrobial refers to those products that are effective in eliminating or reducing not only bacteria but also viruses and funguses. Products that are labeled ‘sanitizer’ are typically alcohol-based, most commonly for direct application to the hands. Effectiveness doesn’t begin until there is a 60% alcohol content and reaches maximum effectiveness at around 90%. And even then, sanitizers are not effective against all bacteria. The Centers for Disease Control specifically say, “sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs.” Antibacterial products are not effective against viruses, and influenza is one of the most common forms of microbial infection – and a virus. Among the antimicrobial agents there is dicarboxylic acid, which must reach an acidity of less than 5pH for maximum effectiveness. Plus it must be placed in solution at the appropriate strength to be both effective and safe. Among the other products relying on the antimicrobial powers of silver, most offered in the marketplace are gels designed for direct application to skin wounds.
Rather than deal with any of these partial solutions or workplace hazards, why not use a permanent, durable, easily applied product that offers full spectrum antimicrobial protection? SafeHandles is that product line and is EPA-approved.