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News 2's Battle Against Bacteria: Part 2

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Posted: Nov 3, 2009 9:28 PM by Chris Nakamoto
Updated: Nov 25, 2009 12:43 PM
Source: WBRZ

  Rating: 2.0 (2 votes)

Topics: News 2, battle against bacteria, bacteria, hand sanitizers, Purell, Bath & Body Works, Target

News 2 is helping you fight the battle against bacteria.

Last night, we showed you how five different hand sanitizers worked.

Tonight, we tested the following brands:

  • Purell killed bacteria by 41%.
  • Bath & Body Works killed bacteria by 11%.
  • Target brand also killed bacteria by 41%.


Microbiologist Karen Sullivan said she believes the reason why the colonies of bacteria didn't decrease more is because of the way they are tested.

"They actually take a flask of bacteria and add a certain amount of these sanitizers," Sullivan said. "They incubate it for a few hours and see how many bacteria are killed. In real life, that's not what we do with these."

News 2 interviewed doctors that agreed hand sanitizers may not be the best way to keep your hands clean.

"I wouldn't recommend any of the over the counter hand sanitizers unless you're going to be in a situation where you can't wash your hands," Doctor Richard Vath said.

The following companies released statements regarding their products.

Bath & Body Works said, "Bath & Body Works stands behind our products. We follow FDA testing which has proven that our alcohol hand sanitizers kill 99.9% of germs. The test conducted in this study does not reflect scientifically accepted methodology."

Purell said, "Since PURELL® Instant Hand Sanitizer was introduced 10 years ago to consumers, it has helped millions of children and adults stay healthy and well by reducing bacteria on the skin. According to laboratory studies conducted pursuant to Food and Drug Administration requirements, PURELL® Instant Hand Sanitizer kills 99.99 percent of the most common germs that may cause illness. We are unable to comment on the accuracy of any third party data that we have not reviewed."

The manufacturers of the Target brand said they stand behind their product.

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