Let People Use Alcohol-Free Hand Sanitizer

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Alcohol-free hand sanitizer works great for controlling COVID-19, according to recently published research. However, the CDC has discouraged people from using it in their official hand hygeine guidance, and the FDA has only given expedited approval to alcohol hand sanitizer manufacturers, not alcohol-free ones. This leaves Americans and others without the hand sanitizer products they need.

We are calling for both organizations to change their positions on hand sanitizer to embrace alcohol-free products. Your skin (and mine) will thank you!

Specifically, we ask the FDA to amend docket FDA-2020-D-1106, which gives implicit approval to companies to manufacture alcohol hand sanitizer in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We would also like the FDA to update its online guidance for consumers, such as this web page. Both should be updated to say that benzalkonium chloride, in addition to benzalkonium chloride hand sanitizers, are effective for controlling COVID-19. Benzalkonium chloride is the only FDA approved hand sanitizer active ingredient that is not an alcohol.

We also ask the CDC to update their official COVID-19 infection control guidance, specifically the section about hand hygiene, to include benzalkonium chloride products in addition to alcohol ones.

If these changes are made, Americans and others will have more hand sanitizer options, including more skin friendly ones. On top of that, healthcare organizations and the general public will be able to control COVID-19 spread with lower costs, since benzalkonium chloride is effective at a very low concentration (0.13% vs. 60% for alcohols), making shipping and production easier.

In summary, we call upon the U.S. CDC and the FDA to do their duty to the American people by updating their guidelines to reflect the latest COVID-19 research.