I'm reaching out to you to hopefully provide you with sufficient information to make more informed selections and decisions as we face an unprecedented global crisis.
Our lives and our concerns are currently being overwhelmed by the threat of Coronavirus (COVID-19). Most of us have had no opportunity to be tested for exposure to the virus and we are somewhat confused by the variety of terms used to describe what may be an effective means of helping control the spread of the virus. So I thought I'd take some time to clarify some differences and similarities in the terms most commonly in use.
What is the difference? Which is best for which situation?
All are chemical agents and all are antimicrobial. Each has a special area of effectiveness. In dealing with the current pandemic virus event, I hope you'll find this information helpful when it comes to your reading labels and making decisions.
Here's a brief description of the properties and uses of these antimicrobials.
Antiseptics are for use on the skin outside the body and contain microorganisms that work to deter the development of bacteria, fungi and viruses. Common antiseptics include rubbing alcohol (71%) and hydrogen peroxide (3%).
Truce All Purpose Spray and Concentrate gallons contain rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide and organic Castile soap as well as peppermint and rosemary essential oils - both of which have antiseptic properties.
Disinfectants are for use on hard surfaces and are stronger than antiseptics. Disinfectants kill bacteria, fungi and viruses. Rubbing alcohol (71%) and hydrogen peroxide (3%) are commonly used disinfectants. Disinfectants are very effective for keeping hard surfaces like counter tops free from COVID19. Remember to use them frequently!
Truce All Purpose Spray and Concentrate gallons contain rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide and organic Castile soap as well as peppermint and rosemary essential oils all of which are useful in disinfecting hard surfaces.
Antibacterials are also for use on skin on the outside of the body. They are active against bacteria, not viruses. They are common in soaps and alcohol sprays. Saliva is antibacterial which is why mouth wounds heal quickly and we have a tendency to put a cut finger in our mouths. Please remember that using antibacterial soaps and sprays that they tend to wind up in our waterways where fish and wildlife can be negatively impacted. Use these with extreme care and forethought.
Antibiotics are primarily used inside the body and have no effect against viruses. Commonly used to combat internal infections, antibiotics will not help prevent or treat COV19. Be aware that there are now antibiotic-resistant organisms due to the over-prescriptions of these. Use antibiotics with great care.
I'm writing as COVID19 is moving across the country and through our communities with very little support available from health practitioners who are themselves being challenged by a lack of test kits and federal support. please remember the most important things you can do to protect yourself from the virus:
- Wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds as often as you can.
- Avoid touching your face and keep your fingers out of your mouth.
- Cough into your elbow.
- Avoid crowded events.
Diann Peart, PhD