Germ Killers Not 99.9% Effective, Unlike a Payday Loan

Clearing Away the Hype

Think your hand sanitizer actually kills 99.9% of all germs? Perhaps you can buy some common sense, sonny. If only a payday loan could do that.

Think your hand sanitizer actually kills 99.9% of all germs? Perhaps you can buy some common sense, sonny. If only a payday loan could do that.

Ever used a hand sanitizer after pocketing the cash from a payday loan? Does the idea that they “kill 99.9 percent of germs and bacteria” comfort you? If it works in the controlled environment of a lab, it must work the same way in real life. Of course it does!

Marketing Called. Those Germs Aren’t Included… or Those Other Ones

It seems that subjects in the clean lab are thoroughly cleansed themselves before being exposed to the heebie jeebies. Does that sound like the same environment as your desk at work or kitchen countertop? The Wall Street Journal didn’t think so, either. 99.9 percent effective is a marketing ploy.

“The 99.99 percent message is more powerful among consumers than ‘antibacterial’ or ‘germ kill’ alone,” said Maria Lovera of Playtex Products Inc.. Playtex makes Wet Ones antibacterial wipes.

But it’s False Advertising, Isn’t It?

Jason Tetro, a microbiologist at the University of Ottawa, recently tested three different hand sanitizers for CBC News. Results ranged from 46 to 60 percent of microbes killed. Unless there are space-age designer germs at work here, I’d say the products are not performing as advertised. This doesn’t mean that all of the surviving bacterial and germs are dangerous, but the more junk that remains, the more likely a person is to get sick.

Companies try to blame it on the health regulators, claiming that their tests don’t require much to pass. And then the mind games begin. “Real-world application is completely subject to interpretation,” says Jay Beckman of MGS Soapopular Inc. “Nothing is guaranteed.”

Follow THIS Logic!

In order for a hand sanitizer in America to be allowed by regulating bodies to say that it’s 99.9 percent effective at killing ALL germs, it DOESN’T have to BE 99.9 percent effective! It only has to be effective at killing certain types of germs and bacteria – a “representative sample.” That leaves off a wide variety of pathogens that can be damaging to your health. Not only that, but if the lab test isn’t effective the first time, they get to try again!

Clearly, American advertisers are having a field day with their flashy but hollow catchphrases. But they want more. They actually believe that U.S. regulations restrict what they can say TOO MUCH. Unbelievable.

They Wish They Could Say They Kill H1N1

The truth, according to the WSJ, is that some may actually be able to claim with a straight face that they can. However, the FDA doesn’t allow over-the-counter products to say that. Manufacturers of those particular hand sanitizers recognize that the Swine Flu is fragile and relatively easy to kill, but the FDA rule keeps them from entering the fray and serving the public. That way, the government can keep greater control of things… perhaps. So while I’m flailing away at the nasties with my 40 to 60 percent effective hand sanitizer, I’m liking the odds I get with a payday loan if I have to keep the nasties away from my budget. That’s worth a stomach flu any day, yes?

(Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hdaniel/ / CC BY-SA 2.0)

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