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Japanese hospitals find way to beat sanitizer shortage

49 Comments
By Behrouz MEHRI

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© 2020 AFP

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

49 Comments
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Brilliant idea.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So it's under control, but we need Alcholholic hand wash while wearing a rain coat? Doesn't sound promising. If it does get worse it's obvious the wobble wheels we have now are going to fly off.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

I've read that an apartment complex in Singapore made their own hand sanitizer from high-proof booze, essential oils and aloe vera gel. Just remember that it won't necessarily kill viruses since you need an alcohol content that's 70% or higher. A better alternative is to use a bleach solution instead, it kills viruses, look it up.

@cricky - I know, the situation looks dire when you're using booze to disinfect your hands and a rain coat to protect you from viruses but you gotta do what you gotta do. Improvise, Adapt, Overcome.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Said it in another post, three months on, why is Japan short of supplies?

13 ( +14 / -1 )

I’ve been using vodka with a 40% alcohol content for a month now.

Works for me!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Anyone want to guess how many months our lawmakers debated that these hand sanitizers must contain 76.9 - 81.4% alcohol?

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Spirits with an alcohol proof of between 70 and 83 percent

That's a bit confusing. "proof" is not usually measured as a percentage. For example, in the USA, 100-proof whisky would be 50% by volume (ABV). In the UK, although not used these days, 70° proof whisky would be about 40% by volume.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

A better alternative is to use a bleach solution instead, it kills viruses, look it up.

Killing viruses is not that hard, a lot of things can do it, the problem is to make people use the disinfectant constantly in order for it to be effective. Bleach is more irritant and leaves a very strong smell difficult to wash out, Iodine stains, etc. Alcohol has the huge advantage of evaporating on its own without leaving behind anything so it is much more easier to get people to use it frequently.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

People need to be warned about using bleach especially in small unvented areas. It can overpower a user. Windows should be opened and the correct measures used in water.

Our local government are giving the people 500ml each of an alcohol cleaning liquid. To be collected from community centers over the next three days.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

It needs to contain 70% of pure alcohol.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Just have hand washing stations at the entrance to every school, hospital, clinic, etc. Soap decimates viruses.

Everyone washes for 20 supervised seconds then you get entry. If you don't, you don't get entry.

Bar soap lasts forever and there should be adequate supply.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

What a horrible waste of good vodka!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@ Toshihiro

A better alternative is to use a bleach solution instead, it kills viruses, look it up.

Please be careful recommending such dangerous practices. Do not use bleach as a hand sanitizer. Hospitals don't need even more patients at this time.

'Bleach solutions are very hard on the skin, and should not be used as a substitute for hand washing and/or hand sanitizer.' Source: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/03/clean-kill-coronavirus-covid19-safety-health/

It can, I read in the link above but use carefully it at you own risk, be used for disinfecting objects only. i.e. toys etc.

Additionally instead of asking people to 'look it up' perhaps consider providing a source.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

The idea of medical staff dressed in miss matched raincoats with bottles of Vodka in their pockets does not inspire confidence. Really three months warning we are told its under control and this!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Bleach is best used for the toilet only and always with the window open and never mix with other chemical liquids.

Ammonia is also the same.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

This sounds like another tactic to boost sales for alcohol. Soap and warm water also works fine. A spoonful of bleach in a bucket of warm water also does the job. We do that every day in my line of work.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

To be taken internally!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Great! Everyone can work under the fumes of Bacardi 151!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Over use of alcohol based sanitizers are bad for the skin. Hot water and soap when possible.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Japan has so far been spared the disastrous outbreaks seen in Europe and the U.S.

AFP stop reporting this... Japan doesn't test enough so the numbers are hidden... No country has been spared

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I am NOT dipping my hands in bleach!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

There is a WHO recipe for hand santizer. It uses isopropyl alcohol, available right now at a normal price on Amazon Japan, gylcerine (a moisturizer, so easily substituted), 3% peroxide for extra hygiene, and boiled water.

https://www.who.int/gpsc/5may/Guide_to_Local_Production.pdf

This is a very easy problem to solve and suggests a lack of guidance from the top.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Just have hand washing stations at the entrance to every school, hospital, clinic, etc. Soap decimates viruses.

You don't always have the water supply where you want it. Much quicker and easier in public buildings to have hand sanitizer dispensers at the entrance or even someone handing out a dollop as you come in.

Please be careful recommending such dangerous practices. Do not use bleach as a hand sanitizer. Hospitals don't need even more patients at this time.

Absolutely. Bleach is far too risky to use on the skin.

What a horrible waste of good vodka!

I think kurisupisu takes the vodka internally. Maybe with a dash of tonic water or lime. Mmm.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

japan massively over prepared for this crisis!

let me donate my rain coat and spare gin to my local hospital...and my two abenomasks...

sigh....

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Most of the distilleries and breweries in Canada have been making hand sanitizer for a couple months. They stepped up right away as soon as they heard about the shortage, some even gave it away.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

kohakuebisu

There is a WHO recipe for hand santizer. It uses isopropyl alcohol, available right now at a normal price on Amazon Japan, gylcerine (a moisturizer, so easily substituted), 3% peroxide for extra hygiene, and boiled water.

This is what I'm using now

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why is it so difficult to produce alcohol? Just tell Nikka to stop making rotgut Nikka Black for a few months and switch production to pure ethanol. Can't be too hard to do, surely?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This is pathetic.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What a horrible waste of good vodka!

No such thing. It's just tasteless alcohol. The rest is marketing spin.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Apparently, there are legal barriers that prohibits distilleries from making sanitizers. Not to mention that it would be very costly.

https://tokyo-craftliqueur.amebaownd.com/posts/7997435

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Raw alcohol dries hands very quickly, and dry sore hands make you vulnerable to infection. Nurse can’t work if the skin is broken on their hands.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This sounds like another tactic to boost sales for alcohol. Soap and warm water also works fine

But you need running water for those, and more time. Therefore it cannot replace a simple bottle of disinfectant put at every entrance/exit of a building. As long as the hands remain wet for 30 seconds alcohol solutions have the same efficacy.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

As a recovering alcoholic this is not an option for me. Nearly three years sober.

Other than soap and water. Any other alternatives?

Thoughts anyone?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Apparently, there are legal barriers that prohibits distilleries from making sanitizers.

More red-tape to thwart common sense?

It's already happening in other countries.

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/18/business/alcohol-companies-hand-sanitizer-scli-intl-gbr/index.html

https://www.fooddive.com/news/alcohol-companies-pivot-to-producing-hand-sanitizer-as-coronavirus-intensif/574537/

https://spectrumlocalnews.com/tx/austin/news/2020/03/25/central-texas-alcohol-companies-switch-from-booze-to-making-sanitizer

https://www.wsj.com/articles/distillers-turn-whiskey-and-gin-into-hand-sanitizer-11585049650

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Slickdrifter,

Looks like you might be out of luck, buddy, based on a quick Google check (and a check of the three different brand sanitizers I have in my house). But I really would get a professional opinion from a pharmacist, if you're worried.

On the bright side, soap and water really does work.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hand_sanitizer

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As I read through the comments for a about a month; those who have professed Japan's success time and time again are the roadblocks for its lack of preparation. While I truly believe they speak from love of country by defending Japan, they must also know that we (foreigners) speak from their love of Japan in criticizing. Nobody wants our medical professionals to use gin while wearing raincoats when their treating our grandparents.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

As a recovering alcoholic this is not an option for me. Nearly three years sober.

Other than soap and water. Any other alternatives?

Gloves? :)

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

"What a horrible waste of good vodka!"

No such thing. It's just tasteless alcohol.

That's what makes it good!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Luddite

Raw alcohol dries hands very quickly, and dry sore hands make you vulnerable to infection.

Isopropyl alcohol is much less drying/damaging to the hands than ethanol. Add some glycerine, and you've got an excellent hand sanitizer. If you don't need a spray, and prefer a gel, then use aloe instead of water, which is much better for your hands. 70% alc, 27% aloe or water, 3% glycerine. Boom. Put it in small spray or squeeze bottles to carry in the car, pocket, and/or purse, and you're golden. Also, keep a bottle by the front door for when you receive packages and to wipe the door knobs/handles.

I also use a 70% alcohol mixture, without glycerine or aloe, for sanitizing delivered goods and kaimono, before using or putting in the cupboard/fridge.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@garypen. It’s still drying. Nurses are cleaning their hands much more often than anyone else. On an eight hour shift I washed/cleaned my hands about 40 to 50 times a day.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Apparently, there are legal barriers that prohibits distilleries from making sanitizers.

Yeah, Japanese politicians / bureucrats are always full of excuses that they cant do this or that because of such and such a rule....this is an emergency ffs...stop wasting time in countless panel meetings that are irrelevant to the crisis at hand , get off your buts and change those laws/rules now....thats what you get handsomely overpaid for, ne?

And while you are at it , do it via a virtual meeting / vote  and not in parliament since you keep telling everyone to reduce their contacts by 80%.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

How embarrassed I am to be Japanese. We are a world laughing stock. Thanks Abe you cretin!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Slickdrifter, soap and water is the best. Sanitizer should only be used when you can't wash your hands properly. Make sure you use soap, it's actually the soap that kills the covid 19. And wash for at least 20 seconds. Best of luck.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@ BigYen

Japanese whisky for imbibing, vodka for hands.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Instructions for use:

Drink alcohol 30 minutes.

Wash hands 20 seconds.
2 ( +2 / -0 )

kurisupisu:

In that case, I have to warn you - if you're using vodka on your hands as a sanitizer, it's going to give you an unjustified sense of security. Same applies if you imbibe too much Japanese whisky, but at least you're not wasting it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

As long as it's at least 60% alcohol content

Another way to beat a sanitizer shortage is to take something that has a very high % alcohol content (for example, 90%), then DILUTE it down to 60% alcohol content by adding more water

That way, ya increase the volume but still meet the minimum 60% requirement

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Lostrune2, minimal standards is not the way to go!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Lostrune2, minimal standards is not the way to go!

If ya have a shortage, what choice do ya have

You either dilute it, or go without

60% is still better than 0%

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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