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Americans Use Hand Sanitizers for Peace of Mind but Don't Know Leading Hand Sanitizers Stop Working After Two Minutes

DALLAS, Nov. 4, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 50 percent of Americans think hand sanitizers last 30 times longer than the leading products actually do, according to results from a nationwide survey. Many Americans use this soap and water substitute for peace of mind, but what they don't know is that leading, short-acting, old-fashioned hand sanitizers only last two minutes.

Fifty-eight percent of the 1,007 men and women polled said they believe their hand sanitizer keeps germs at bay for an hour or more.  In fact, the leading products on the market today eliminate germs on contact but work for as little as two minutes.

"This is a common misperception among consumers," said Lawton Seal, Ph.D., S.M., director of medical science for infection prevention at Healthpoint Ltd., a wound-care company based in Fort Worth, Texas.  "People are unaware that they are vulnerable to germs almost immediately after they cleanse their hands with short-acting hand sanitizers."  

Of those Americans who use hand sanitizers, 71 percent said they use them for peace of mind.  Most Americans – 81 percent of those surveyed – said they were worried that germs will cause them to get sick, and 73 percent of those polled said they were concerned they will transfer germs to their families and friends.  

Among survey respondents, 29 percent said they think retail stores, grocery stores and ATMs are the "germiest" locations they frequent.  Eighteen percent targeted transportation – subways, trains, buses and planes – as having the most germs.  

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), keeping hands clean is one of the most effective steps people can take to avoid getting sick and passing on germs to others.  When soap and water are unavailable, the CDC recommends the use of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Unlike most other products on the market today, OutLast™ Long-Lasting Hand Sanitizer from Healthpoint contains a patented alcohol-based formula that kills 99.99 percent of germs instantly and works for up to six hours.  

"People understand that clean hands are the first line of defense against transmitting illness-causing germs," said Shanta Modak, Ph.D., research scientist at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons who invented the patented OutLast™ Hand Sanitizer formula.  "While cleaning your hands is standard procedure among healthcare professionals, it's not always convenient for everyone to wash with soap and water several times as they go about their day."

Of the 68 percent of Americans who said they use hand sanitizers, 42 percent said they use them more than once a day.  Among all men and women surveyed, 45 percent said they consciously try to touch fewer people or objects in their daily life in order to avoid germs. "But this isn't always the most realistic strategy," according to Healthpoint's Dr. Seal.  

"We understand the importance of cleanliness from our knowledge of wound care," Dr. Seal explained.  "That's why we wanted a hand sanitizer that would be effective enough to be used in a clinical setting and that would last for more than a few minutes."  The OutLast™ Long-Lasting Hand Sanitizer formula has been used for years by doctors and nurses in hospitals and other medical settings across the country.

"Using OutLast™ Hand Sanitizer gives you confidence that your hands will be covered with a hand sanitizer that kills germs not just for two minutes, but with a product that can continue to work for up to six hours," Dr. Seal said.

OutLast™ Hand Sanitizer is available at or by calling 1-800-716-2420.

The random telephone survey was conducted by Opinion Research Corporation between Aug. 20-23, 2010, and included 1,007 men and women 18 years or older living in private households in the continental United States.  The survey was funded by Healthpoint, Ltd.


Since 1992, HEALTHPOINT has been dedicated to innovative technologies for the prevention and treatment of acute, chronic and burn-related wounds. The company is presently focused on the research and development of novel biologics and pharmaceuticals intended to improve clinical and quality of life outcomes. HEALTHPOINT is based in Fort Worth, Texas. For more information, visit the HEALTHPOINT website at

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