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Who Needs Hand Sanitizers?
I realize that I'm behaving recklessly. I understand that I'm living on the edge. But I'm not convinced that I need to use hand sanitizer on a daily basis.
I have nothing against a gel that allegedly kills 99.9 percent of all household bacteria and viruses. But since I'm not much of a germ-o-phobe, I wonder whether the average person actually needs to decontaminate themselves on a regular basis.
Now, I'd feel differently if traveled regularly on planes, cruise ships or subways. I'd also reconsider if I taught first-grade, worked in a hospital, or was running for Congress.
But since I'm rarely exposed to that much humanity, I think it's overkill to tote around a bottle of sanitizer in my handbag. I'm confident that my body can cope if I fail to disinfect at a second's notice.
Studies have shown that there's no good reason to use antibacterial soaps. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends hand sanitizers, as long as its alcohol content is above 60 percent. Their research shows that using alcohol-based sanitizers is as effective as washing your hands.
It's strange that I feel this way, considering that I'm normally a big fan of cosmetics and beauty products. I like to primp. I have an arsenal of hand lotions and creams. I don't take camping trips longer than two days, because my appreciation for products starts to exceed my appreciation of nature.
But I'm just not sold on this stuff. The way I see it, if I'm going to carry a product on a regular basis, I'd much rather keep a rich, great-smelling moisturizer in my bag. That way, my hands won't dry out after I've washed them.
Then again, by throwing caution to the wind, I'm probably destined to get a bug or two this winter. If you're a convert, go ahead and convince me of the error of my ways. Maybe it's time to become a believer.