How Our Newfound Obsession with Hygiene And Hand Sanitizer Might Eventually Backfire
Our understanding of COVID-19 has come a long way since the early days of the pandemic. Over time, researchers have discovered that transmission is far more likely to occur due to respiratory droplets and close contact than on surfaces. Hence, while hand-washing and sanitizer remain important, they might not play as large a role in mitigation as we initially assumed.
There’s no need to let up on hygienic efforts just yet. However, we must nonetheless consider the potential downsides of taking such behavior to an excess:
The Danger of Hand Sanitizer
Not all hand sanitizers are made equal. For example, the FDA cautions the public against using select brands, such as those manufactured by Eskbiochem.
Even types of hand sanitizer deemed safe can hold negative implications if overused on a long-term basis. Skeptics fear that excessive use of hand sanitizer could have a detrimental impact on the microbiome, which supports health immune function and digestion. Some researchers believe that over-sanitization may lead to an increased incidence of auto-immune disorders and allergies.
Risks Associated With Sanitizing Surfaces
In addition to dousing their hands with sanitizer, many people now use strong products to clean surfaces within their homes, cars, and places of employment. Such measures may be necessary in public spaces but should be pursued with caution within the home. Exposure to some cleaning products could prompt harmful side effects such as nausea, dizziness, eye irritation, or difficulty breathing.
For now, the most effective strategies for limiting the spread of COVID-19 remain the effective use of masks, social distancing, and hand-washing. Health authorities still recommend the limited use of hand sanitizer or cleaning solvents when required.