Germ-X depending on the formulation has 62-64% ethanol except for its bulk wipes/wipe packets which has 0.12% benzakylammonium chloride.
The CDC has an interesting article on how they came to 62% minimum amount of Ethanol in the sanitizers. They also say that some kids versions have 33% IPA instead.
Purell contains mostly ethanol (~70%) with a small amount of IPA (~5%), and I know of cases where people “drink” it to become drunk.
Hand sanitizer is not meant to be wiped off. You are supposed to rub your hands together until the hand sanitizers is your hands are dry.
The issue with hand sanitizers is somewhere to some, since they are a disinfectant they are better than soap or should be used more often than they should. Having typically 99% IPA is an issue because there are bacteria that can live in high alcohol environments. When cleaning and disinfecting microbiology labs and work areas, a solution of 70% IPA is used because of that possibility.
From: List Moderator <ecgrants**At_Symbol_Here**UVM.EDU>
Reply-To: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**list.uvm.edu>
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2010 07:47:38 -0400
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Hand sanitizer
Date: April 20, 2010 7:43:21 AM EDT
Subject: RE: [DCHAS-L] Hand sanitizer
> these units bring the whole aspect of hand hygiene to the student's mind
Thank you (and everyone else) for your input.
I do not wish to seem disputatious, but I think there are two reservations concerning your answer.
1) Hand sanitizer, as it is not wiped off, merely moves contamination over a wider area.
2) Hand sanitizers are principally ethanol, which may increase the permeability of the skin, increasing the rate of absorption of a chemical until such time as the hands are actually washed.
Again, I feel that what important here (and I may have an exaggerated sense of its importance) is the distinction between behavior in the lab and the “civilian” world. For instance, it is relatively safe to sit on the floor or on a desk in the civilian world, but not in the lab. I think Bertrand Russell sited the example of smoking as generally undesirable, but in a nitroglycerin factory, criminal.
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