A water-based hand foam might be 30 per cent more effective than convential cleaners in reducing certain superbugs.

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Alcohol hand gel ‘no defence’ against swine flu

Prisoners get drunk on alcohol hand gel. Many Muslims can’t even use it. According to a Manchester-based company, alcohol hand gel should be ‘a thing of the past’.

Healthcare experts gathered in Harrogate last week for a conference hosted by the Infection Prevention Society.
Research was presented to the conference that suggests alcohol-based hand cleaners are no longer the most effective first line of defence in infection prevention.

Alcohol-based hand gels have several substantial drawbacks, which have led manufacturers to invest heavily in finding a safer, easier and more effective hand sanitizer. One such manufacturer is Manchester-based Byotrol, who have set themselves the task of leading a ‘hygiene revolution’. Byotrol hand foam, based on new micro-polymer technology, has been proven to demonstrate superior protection against the swine flu virus and delivers longer lasting antimicrobial protection than alcohol-based products, which stop working as soon as they dry.

Stephen Falder, the company’s deputy chairman, developed their water-based hand foam, which actually outperforms leading alcohol handwashes in killing and preventing the germs that cause swine flu and hospital superbugs. Mr Falder has stated: ‘Alcohol handwashes have run their course. They are no longer the most effective products. Nurses complain of dry and damaged skin caused by alcohol hand gel, prisoners are getting drunk on the stuff, many Muslims can’t touch alcohol and, to top it all, it isn’t even very effective when you consider that it stops working as soon as it evaporates – which is almost immediately.’

Byotrol’s micro-polymer technology forms an invisible protective layer on any surface, be it human hands or a hospital floor. Independent laboratory tests have demonstrated Byotrol’s effectiveness in killing the swine flu virus and have also shown that Byotrol kills viruses for at least 17 hours after application to hard surfaces – unlike conventional disinfectants, which stop working when dry.

An 11-month study at the Manchester Royal Infirmary, which was widely reported in late June, showed that Byotrol was 30 per cent more effective than conventional cleaners in reducing the superbugs MRSA and Clostridium difficile. Similar tests at Monroe Hospital in Indiana, America, have resulted in there being no cases of MRSA or C. difficile for more than three years since Byotrol became their standard cleaning product.

Lord Warner, the former government Health Minister (who is an adviser to the company), said: ‘The scientific evidence proves that Byotrol products mark a step-change in the fight against the swine flu pandemic. The long-lasting nature of the product, combined with its safety, means that Byotrol hygiene products have the potential to revolutionise the way we deal with swine flu and superbugs.’

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