Does Purell cause superbugs?
Purell and Antibiotic Resistant Superbugs
Superbugs are so affectionately named for being resistant to modern antibiotics.
With the rise of Purell and other hand sanitizers during the pandemic, it’s a good time to revisit an old myth about Purell.
The use of hand sanitizer does not contribute to the proliferation of antibiotic-resistant super-bacteria. Superbugs are created by large-scale factory farming, where bacteria have many opportunities to grow, multiply, and evolve.
Because Purell kills bacteria on the spot, they do not have an environment to evolve and grow.
Purell also kills bacteria by breaking down their protein structures, which differs from how antibiotics and anti-viral medications work.
NIH Recommends Hand Sanitizer
In fact, the NIH recommends hand sanitizer to combat the spread of disease:
“Particularly in situations like pandemic outbreak, it is crucial to interrupt the transmission chain of the virus by practicing proper hand sanitization.”
Alcohol-based hand sanitizers such as Purell is approved by the FDA for use in healthcare settings as an antiseptic. Hand sanitizers don’t replace hand washing.