In case you missed it, as we begin a new year here at MADE SAFE, we’re going beyond resolutions by kicking off a year-long revolt against the toxic consumer products that are in our homes.
We’re calling it a New Year’s Revolution.
The goal? To transform our homes into healthier living spaces one step at a time throughout the year by systematically exchanging harmful products for healthier ones.
Each month, we’ll tackle a new area of your home by bringing you a step-by-step guide to making the swaps, healthier alternatives including MADE SAFE certified options, and tips and tricks to make it all happen.
We started January off with cleaning products and in February we took on hand soaps. Now, this month, we’re encouraging you to choose nontoxic hand sanitizer.
MARCH: Hand Sanitizer
In the midst of the Coronavirus concern, good hand hygiene is more important than ever. Handwashing with soap and water should be your first line of defense, but what about when soap and water isn’t available? That’s where hand sanitizer comes in.
Remember that when you reach for hand sanitizer, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends using an alcohol-based sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Anything less than 60 percent means it might not be effective.
While hand sanitizer is absolutely critical right now, it’s important to choose nontoxic options, when they’re available to you. That’s because conventional hand sanitizers can contain harmful ingredients.
Read on to learn about how to spot a safer hand sanitizer. But first, let’s cover why you should opt for safer choices:
- FDA ruled insufficient evidence to conclude that antibacterial soap is more effective than plain soap and water. Choose handwashing first when possible!
- Conventional hand sanitizers can contain ingredients that are known to be harmful to humans or the environment like parabens, polyethylene glycol compounds (PEGs), fragrance, and artificial colors and dyes.
- Overuse of antibacterials could contribute to emergence and proliferation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
What to look for when shopping for safer options:
- Avoid hand sanitizers with parabens, polyethylene glycol compounds (PEGs), “fragrance,” or colors or dyes listed on labels.
- Instead, opt for hand sanitizers that contain simple non-active ingredients like water, glycerin, and plant oils.
- Ethyl alcohol (aka ethanol or alcohol) is likely a safer option, in terms of active ingredients. The FDA deferred a final ruling on ethyl alcohol to allow for further studying in hopes of filling data gaps. In the meantime, the CDC maintains its recommendation to use alcohol-based sanitizers of at least 60 percent. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends formulations that contain both alcohol and isopropyl alcohol.
- Isopropyl alcohol is also likely a safer option. Like ethyl alcohol, the FDA deferred a final ruling on isopropyl alcohol in order to fill data gaps. As mentioned above, WHO recommends formulations that contain both ethyl alcohol and isopropyl alcohol.
How to use hand sanitizer:
- Apply product covering entire surface of the hands
- Rub hands together until hands feel dry
- Do not wipe or rinse off product before it is dry as this may decrease its effectiveness
MADE SAFE Certified Hand Sanitizers
- Grape Hand Tonic
- Hand Sanitizer – coming soon!
Note: Given current demand for hand sanitizer, these products may be sold out. Check directly with the brands listed above.