H1N1 and Alcohol Hand Sanitizer

There exists a panic among families across the United States about H1N1 affecting their children.  The typical response has been to provide alcohol hand sanitizer to students and children across the U.S.  However, the biggest concern with any hand sanitizer is – will it work?

First, if we are considering placing alcohol hand sanitizers in classrooms, we must consider the use of alcohol products in schools for obvious reasons as well as the potential fire hazard.  Next, alcohol has not been identified as a biocide or anti-virus treatment.  In the event that alcohol hand sanitizers are chosen, they must be chosen carefully by considering the following:


  1. Appropriate number of applications
  2. Dwell time  – time it takes to effective destroy the virus
  3. Is it effective on the virus you are seeking to destroy
  4. How to control the use among younger students who may ingest the substance

Remember, ingesting hand sanitizer or igniting flammable hand sanitizers may result in work comp claims, general liability or both.


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