Hand Hygiene Has Never Been More Important
The central message from every public health and government campaign to combat the spread of Covid-19 has been “wash your hands”. This is because we know that personal contact and touching contaminated surfaces – and then touching our own eyes, nose or mouth - are two of the main ways the virus can spread. Keeping hands clean helps to break this chain of infection and is something that everyone can do.
Since the emergence of the virus we have all been instructed to clean or disinfect our hands as often as possible. This includes when entering or leaving a building, when interacting with different people, and after touching any surface that could have been touched by someone else. These are just a few examples but there are many others. It is more than we are normally used to which means facilities need to make it simple and convenient to encourage maximum compliance.
Washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds will work in any location with a sink. Correct hand washing with soap removes bacteria and viruses from skin. Any soap will work and does not need any additional disinfectant ingredients.
Sinks are, however, rarely found in every position where hand hygiene is required during the pandemic. The over-riding requirement at the moment is to provide effective hand disinfection products right where they are needed. The most practical alternative is often a disinfectant hand-rub that can be used on its own. Many facilities have placed hand-rub dispensers at their entrance and other convenient points throughout their buildings.
Diversey has a complete set of hand disinfection and hygiene products to help everyone take the best possible precautions against the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes Covid-19. Its globally-trusted hand care formulations in the Soft Care and SURE ranges are widely used in hospitals, care homes and other settings where infection prevention is critical. They include a complete set of colour-coded soaps, disinfectants, sanitisers, and creams meeting a wide range of international infection prevention standards.
It is critical to make sure products are effective against the virus. SARS-CoV-2 is an enveloped virus. These types of virus are generally easy to kill and disinfectants with virucidal claims such as EN14476 (either fully virucidal or limited virucidal - eg effective against Vaccinia virus) are effective against them. Suppliers should be able to show evidence their products meet relevant disinfection standards and provide additional supporting documentation such as user guides and wall charts that encourage frequent and proper use.
Diversey products meeting this standard include the Soft Care Des E and Soft Care Med H5 hand rubs. These both contain 71.5% alcohol. This is important because products containing more than 70% alcohol are not only more effective but work faster than those with lower levels. The formulations also contain skin moisturisers and other gentle ingredients that help protect the skin. They do not, however, contain any known allergens, fragrance, or dyes. All of this helps make them pleasant and suitable for frequent use.
Another popular choice is SURE Instant Hand Sanitizer, part of the SURE range of innovative plant-based, 100 per cent biodegradable cleaning products. This contains no alcohol and does not require water. Particularly popular with schools, it is a non-classified product that cares for the skin and contains a 100% natural perfume to create a refreshing fragrance.
These hand care products – in fact most Diversey hand and surface disinfectants - meet the all-important EN14476 standard for virucidal protection when they are used correctly. Each is available in a range of formats to promote the flexibility and convenience that will encourage proper and frequent use.
While effective products are key, they are only part of the solution. The aim is to make it easy for anyone to disinfect their hands whenever they wish. Professional dispensers offer many long-term benefits. These include consistent individual dosing, higher capacity and number of doses thanks to concentrated formulations, and reliability. They also have features to help maintain continuous product availability and are less likely to go missing. They can be mounted on walls in key locations or on adjustable floor stands when portability is required. Floor stands offer the additional advantage of adjustable height which can be important for schools with younger or shorter children. They are also ideal for settings where people are likely to be in wheelchairs.
Diversey’s new IntelliCare dispenser system, for example, offers contactless performance but switches to manual operation if its batteries become discharged, ensuring it can still be used. The risk of this ever happening is greatly reduced because the equipment can alert cleaning team members when the battery or product levels get too low. They can then take action to maintain product availability.
In the short term, however, it may be more convenient to use portable bottles with built-in dispensers that can be placed wherever they are needed at any time. Diversey offers these as well as smaller bottles for personal use.
Hand hygiene is always important because it is the first line of defence against so many infections. It is even more critical when one of these infections can be so deadly and spread so easily. Leading suppliers such as Diversey can help their customers choose the right products and dispensers to make hand hygiene and disinfection as simple and convenient as possible.