[Pharmwaste] Hand sanitizers

Suhr, Marcus W. MSuhr at ChristianaCare.org
Thu Oct 15 15:57:23 EDT 2009

Just had Medline presentation here at the hospital about hand hygiene.
Discussed two studies (2001, and 2008) about there not being a
statistical significance of the benefit of hand sanitizers with alcohol
in them.  Why then, are they pushing so hard for these sanitizers?

My concerns coming from occupational safety are;

1) the alcohol content (and corresponding flash point) in these items
make them a class IC flammable substance thereby restricting the volume
and quantities that can be hosted in any one area. (Fire Code)
2) disposal of unused quantities of alcohol sanitizer should either be
D001 RCRA waste, or D003 (foam canisters) and is probably not happening.
3) has permeation testing been done between alcohol sanitizers and latex
gloves when used in conjunction?

When I asked about non-hazardous alternatives to alcohol, medline rep
mentioned BZK as a possible, but less desirable ingredient.  Does anyone
have experience with BZK or using BZK based sanitizers?  What about any
other sanitizer products that are non-hazardous, or at least

Marcus Suhr, CSP 
Industrial Hygienist 
Christiana Care Health Services 
Occupational Safety Department, Office L840J 
4755 Ogletown-Stanton Road 
Newark, DE 19718 
302-733-3787 (office)
302-573-7662 (pager) 
302-733-3771 (fax) 
MSuhr at christianacare.org

More information about the Pharmwaste mailing list