At the novel Coronavirus swept worldwide in March 2020, panic buying for hand sanitizers ran rampant and supplies for this desperately needed hand hygiene product quickly disappeared. Since then, hand sanitizer has been very difficult to find in traditional channels such as supermarkets, drugstores and online. Many companies, including alcohol distilleries and oil manufacturers, have attempted to pivot into producing hand sanitizer to meet the growing demand while keeping their businesses afloat. However, most have been unsuccessful in making the transition thus far due to the difficulty involved in complying with new FDA guidelines surrounding hand sanitizer, which were updated on April 15, 2020 in an effort to better protect the safety of consumers from potentially dangerous impurities. The measures were also intended to promote the manufacturing of more effective product to combat the spread of viruses – playing a vital role in the battle against COVID-19.
Prior to the outbreak of Coronavirus, hand sanitizer products varied over a wide range in terms of their composition, alcohol content, and many contained additional ingredients purely for color, aesthetics and fragrance. Higher standards of hand sanitizer effectiveness have been prioritized and mandated in the wake of the global pandemic, to minimize the risk of infection. Extensive testing has been conducted by the medical community, based on findings by the World Health Organization (WHO), to determine the most effective formula for preventing the spread of COVID-19. According to Medical News Today: “Tests have confirmed that two hand sanitizer formulations recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) inactivate the virus that causes coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19).”
The WHO previously recommended two formulations of alcohol-based hand rub that tested most effectively for inactivating a wide array of potentially harmful microorganisms on hands. These recommended formulas were vetted by a team of scientists in in Germany and Switzerland for efficacy against SARS CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19). The team headed by Professor Stephanie Pfänder from the Department of Molecular and Medical Virology at Ruhr-Universität Bochum were able to substantiate the findings of WHO. “We showed that both WHO-recommended formulations sufficiently inactivate the virus after 30 seconds,” said Professor Pfänder.
The first sanitizer formula comprises:
The second sanitizer formula comprises:
On April 15, 2020, the FDA issued new guidance with a Temporary Policy for Preparation of Certain Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer Products During the Public Health Emergency (COVID-19). The policy recommends the manufacturing of hand sanitizer according to formula consistent with World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations: Alcohol (ethanol) formulated to 80%, or Isopropyl Alcohol formulated to 75%. Other guidance criteria include:
The firm does not add other active or inactive ingredients, such as ingredients to improve the smell or taste, due to the risk of accidental ingestion in children.
CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) recommends that hand sanitizers contain at least 60% alcohol, but add in their Coronavirus update that “formulations containing 80% ethanol or 75% isopropanol, both of which are in the range of alcohol concentrations recommended by CDC, inactivate SARS-CoV-2”. Despite the new FDA guidance, it is still permissible to manufacture and distribute Hand Sanitizer with a minimum range of 60% alcohol content.
Pico has launched its Hand Sanitizer line with 80% ethanol (alcohol) composition, the most concentrated formulation recommended by the WHO and FDA. This formula has been proven by the scientific community to be most effective on viruses, including the current global pandemic.
The safety of customers has always been at the forefront of Pico’s product philosophy. That is why it was imperative for the company to launch with the FDA recommended 80% formula, to ensure the best outcome for destruction of viruses on customers’ hands. Pico’s formula contains no dyes or fragrances – it is strictly geared toward effective hand hygiene.
Pico Hand Sanitizing Gel is a high viscosity quality gel with an outstanding ethanol purity level of 99.55%. Every drop has maximized potency and the gel thickness level is apparent as it is dispensed from packaging with a squeeze, and not by gravity, when the bottle is turned upside down. With the addition of Hand Sanitizer, Pico is now your one-stop-shop for full foodservice safety, from temperature to hands!
Proper hygiene and thorough disinfection are imperative during the COVID-19 outbreak to reduce the risk of cross-contamination and infection. Washing hands frequently is critical, but in situations where soap and water are not available – hand sanitizer should be used. In the “new world”, hand sanitizer turns into an essential item that is quickly becoming ubiquitous. As businesses reopen, it should be made readily available to help protect employees and their customers alike, whether it’s in restaurants, stores, offices or hospitals. Pico is eager to help stem the tide of this unprecedented public health crisis, and meet demand for critical sanitary products with maximum effectiveness.