A Greener Hand Sanitizer for Cold Season?

hand sanitizer photo

Photo: Myrone Delacruz

With cold season in full swing it would be nice to be able to squirt some sanitizer on your hands and avoid a cold for the whole year. Well, that's just not possible. But in a pinch, parents love to use this stuff to prevent the spread of germs on the go. Now a greener hand sanitizer is claiming to be as effective as the conventional ones, but without the scary ingredients.Natural CleanWell hand sanitizers kill 99.99 percent of germs while being 100 biodegradable just in time for cold season. CleanWell's kid-friendly sanitizers, soaps, and wipes are made with ingredients from renewable plants such as thyme that don't require pesticides during their growing process.

CleanWell also doesn't include Triclosan, an ingredient that has gotten a pretty bad wrap. Triclosan, widely used as an antibacterial ingredient in household hand sterilization products, breaks down rapidly when exposed to chlorinated water and produces toxic chemicals including chloroform. According to a study published on the Environmental Science & Technology research website As Soon As Publishable (ASAP), many antibacterial products may not only be ineffective, but harmful.

According to Cleanwell's Web site, however, the product doesn't disrupt the eco-system. It's also free of toxins like Triclosan and cruelty-free (not tested on animals).

Lloyd previously discussed how hand sanitizers can do more harm than good. According to Scientific American, it appears that after spraying a counter with an antibiotic cleaner, some chemicals linger and continue to kill bacteria but don't neccessarily get all of them. The ones that survive develop a tolerance. That's scary stuff. The jury is still out as to whether that's true of natural sanitizers.

The bottom line: people love hand sanitizer. So if you're going to use it, you might as well try a greener version. But green or not, antibacterial products scare me. Maybe it's a result of my best friend in college who developed an addiction to the stuff and then later seemed to be unable to escape even the wimpiest virus. Whether there's a connection, I don't know. I'll stick with organic soap and water.

More on Cold Season:
Cure the Common Cold the Green Way
How to Use a Neti Pot to Clear Up Your Sinuses
Improve the Environmental Health in Your Home

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