Expert explains how to make DIY hand sanitiser amid coronavirus outbreak03/04/2020
The outbreak of coronavirus has sparked panic in the public, who have been rushing to buy hand sanitiser from shops.
The number of UK cases of the deadly bug has risen to 51.
Yesterday the government warned if the outbreak continues to spread rapidly up to a fifth of UK workers could be off sick at the same time.
According to the NHS, the best way to stop the spread of coronavirus is “wash your hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds or whenever you get home or into work, blow your nose, sneeze or cough and eat or handle food”.
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The most effective way is to use soap and water, but the NHS says to “use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available”.
When shops and pharmacies run out of hand sanitiser, it makes this a lot easier.
Luckily, there is a way to make your own hand sanitiser amid the shortage.
Miryam Wahrman, a biology professor at William Paterson University, explained to Business Insider how this would work.
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The ingredients you need is alcohol (either isopropyl or ethyl).
According to the professor, you need a solution which is at least 60% alcohol.
However, if you want to make the solution a bit more gentle on the skin you can add a few drops of aloe vera.
She explained: “The bottom line is that alcohol is the active ingredient.
“If you drop below 60%, the effectiveness drops very dramatically."
However, it’s important to be careful if you are planning to make your own hand sanitiser.
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If made correctly the DIY solution could be helpful and effective.
Daniel Parker, assistant professor of public health at the University of California, Irvine, told CNN: “I worry about people making their own sanitisers as it will be difficult to make sure that the concentrations are correct.”
And if the solution is too harsh you could risk hurting your hands, Sally Bloomfield, professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine told The Guardian.
She continued: “It’s very unwise, dangerous, even. Shop-bought products also contain emollients to make them softer on the skin, without which you run the risk of hurting your hands.
“Getting the mix right at home would be very tricky – so it is a big no-no.”
For hand sanitisers to be effective they have to have at least 60% alcohol content, say the NHS and Public Health England.
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