Science Questions

Are there any hand gels that kill viruses?

Tue, 25th Feb 2014

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Question

Android Neox asked:

Are there any gels we can get that kill/destroy viruses?

Does hydrogen peroxide make a good hand rinse?

 

Android Neox

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Answer

Rachael -    Well, you can't hydrogen peroxide onto your skin of course, but we do use that in a vapour form we’re cleaning our wards.  We do deep clean areas that have norovirus outbreaks or side rooms that have had patients who’ve been infected in them.  So, we do quite robust cleaning at Addenbrookes using the HPV process.  So, you can't get a spot into your skin.  They're highly toxic in higher concentrations that the vapour forms are very small amount of agent that's there.  It is very effective at cleaning our environment. 

Some of the gels do claim to be effective against flu virus and things like that, but as we’ve said really, although they say they are, it is always the best gold standard to wash your hands, if you’ve got that facility, so gels are so useful in a hospital for social interaction with patients and really useful if you're in a situation where there isn’t hand washing facilities such as on a picnic or family holidays and things like that.  But we generally say, although they say on a label, “We will kill flu”, “We will kill viruses”, we generally say, we shouldn’t rely on that.

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