MAKING THE PRODUCTS THAT SOCIETY NEEDS

At INEOS our business is to make the products that society needs. So when the coronavirus pandemic led to a global shortage of sanitizing products, we set about manufacturing and distributing the large volumes needed to meet the shortfall, firstly to health authorities, and then more broadly to all.

In just three months we installed 6 new plants in the USA, UK, Germany, and France and are now producing 1 Million bottles of hand sanitizer every month.

Alcohol-based sanitizer has long been recognized by the scientific and medical communities as the simplest and most effective way of destroying germs when soap and water are not readily available (ref 1). The germs cannot build up resistance (ref 2), meaning that no matter how often you use it, the cleansing will be just as effective.[1] Alcohol provides an additional deep clean of germs that is quick and convenient (ref 3). Its use is standard procedure in health care environments and hospitals.

At the core of our sanitizer is high purity IPA, which is manufactured under strictly controlled conditions. The IPA is free of impurities seen in many agricultural sources of IPA of concern to the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) (ref 4)

We formulate our hand sanitizer gel and spray with 75% isopropyl alcohol, complying with the World Health Organization recommendations (ref 5), the US FDA regulations, and health services in Europe. This ensures that it is effective in killing 99.9% of germs. It also evaporates quickly after use leaving hands feeling clean and dry.

In responding to extraordinary circumstances, our first instinct was to supply the US hospitals and health services free of charge to see them through the peak. From project go-ahead to first deliveries took just 10 days. Now, with production ramped up and the initial peak of demand met, our sanitizer will be available soon through retailers. But we are not stopping there. Our bottles of hand gel will soon be followed by wipes and larger scale solutions for the workplace and homes.

As the world’s largest manufacturer of high purity synthetic alcohol, steeped in safety and operational excellence in a highly regulated environment, we are uniquely placed to assure our customers of continuity of supply and the highest levels of product quality. And, as a quickly evolving Hygiene business, we will be able to meet the demands of both consumers and businesses as we all adapt to the new demands for hygiene during the pandemic. 

Notes

[1] Alcohols de-activate germs by denaturing the proteins and disrupting the lipid or fatty layers on which their structure and activity relies (ref 6). It is important that the alcohol sanitizer contains a high concentration of alcohol as recommended by WHO to ensure effectiveness. Sanitizers with too low a concentration of alcohol (eg less than 60%) or too high a concentration (eg 90% or more) are less effective.   

References

1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Guideline for Hand Hygiene in Health-Care Settings: Recommendations of the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee and the HICPAC/SHEA/APIC/IDSA Hand Hygiene Task Force. MMWR 2002;51(No. RR16):[1-56].

2. Kampf and Kramer, Clin Microbiol Rev. 2004 Oct; 17(4): 863–893.  

3. Todd et al, Journal of Food Protection, Vol. 73, No. 11, 2010, Pages 2128–2140

4. https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/coronavirus-covid-19-update-fda-takes-action-protect-public-health-increase-supply-alcohol-based

5. https://www.who.int/gpsc/information_centre/handrub_formulations

SCIENCE

How does sanitizer work?

Sanitizers are designed to kill microorganisms such as bacteria. IPA, the active ingredient, kills bacteria by destroying the proteins which make up their DNA and RNA in a process called denaturing.

Isopropyl alcohol based disinfectant has long been recognized by the scientific and medical communities as the simplest and most effective way of destroying bacteria.  Alcohol kills more bacteria than any other alternative.

The World Health Organization advises that 75% alcohol is advised to be the best concentration for sanitizer use. 

“What makes INEOS Sanitizer products different/special/work” or “Why should I choose INEOS Sanitizer products”?

INEOS has a long-standing history of producing the purest most effective sanitizing agent – pharmaceutical grade alcohol. At the core of our sanitizer products is high purity alcohol, which is manufactured under strictly controlled conditions to meet the specialist requirements of pharmaceutical applications.

Our sanitizer products are made from 75% isopropyl alcohol solution. We have more than 20 years’ experience of working in this highly regulated environment.  We have ensured our sanitizers are as pure as possible.

Why is pharma grade important?

United States Pharmocopeia is the highest purity grade of alcohol.  Sanitizers that use high purity alcohol have a higher microbial effectiveness and are therefore more hygienic [ref 1] which is why INEOS sanitizer products disinfect so well.

Are all sanitizers just as effective as INEOS Sanitizers? 

The CDC advises – “Many studies have found that sanitizers with an alcohol concentration between 60–95% are more effective at killing germs than those with a lower alcohol concentration or non-alcohol-based hand sanitizers” (ref 2). Hence avoid sanitizers outside this range.

Sanitizer products with alcohol content as low as 30% can have some pathogen killing ability but to be able to kill 99.9% of germs then the alcohol concentration needs to be much higher.  Some sanitizer products may use benzalkonium chloride which has the same microbial effectiveness at a concentration of 0.13% (ref 3).

When should I use sanitizer?

Hand Sanitizer is the best alternative to sanitize hands if soap and water are not available, for example for use out and about. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, and wash with soap and water as soon as you can (ref 4).

Sanitizers are most effective when your hands or surfaces aren’t visibly dirty.

Apply hand sanitizer to hands when they are dry.  

Is there a difference between cleaning and sanitizing?

Cleaning is the process of removing dirt.  It does not necessarily kill germs but by removing them it lowers their numbers and therefore reduces the risk of spreading infection.

Sanitizing is the process of using chemicals to specifically kills germs.  This process does not necessarily clean hands or remove germs.

How has our sanitizer been tested and certified?

INEOS is the world’s leading supplier of synthetic alcohol. We also supply other sanitizer companies with the raw ingredients to make their products.

Our Sanitizers are manufactured in our own factories. At the core of our sanitizer is high purity alcohol, which is manufactured under strictly controlled conditions to meet specialist requirements of pharmaceutical and other applications.

Our products have been through stringent testing.

Our sanitizers are not tested on animals.

Does INEOS sanitizer expire?

Hygienics hand sanitizer has a minimum shelf life of 12 months when kept within the correct storage conditions (a well ventilated, dry location, out of direct sunlight).

Can sanitizers explode or cause fire?

A 75% concentration alcohol sanitizer is flammable and can be explosive. There are many ways that the sanitizers can ignite hence they have to be handled with care and kept away from sources of ignition and heat (ref 5).

Being so powerful is the sanitzer safe?

Use hand sanitizers carefully. Always read the label and product information before use.

Sanitizer products are safe to use when pregnant as long as you follow the safety precautions and instructions (ref 6) and are not allergic to any of the ingredients in the solution. 

A spray can be harmful to humans and to animals if it is ingested, inhaled or gets into the eyes. To avoid this, be sure to follow the directions of use carefully. Spray 6-8 inches from hands and only use the products in a well ventilated space and when using a sanitizer spray keep pets and animals out of the way or in another area to the house in order to prevent harm to them. Read the SDS for more (ref 7).

Hand wipes shouldn’t be used on your face, or any other part of the body other than hands, this also helps avoid the risk of getting the wipe in your eyes which will cause serious eye irritation.

Sanitiziers should not be ingested.  If swallowed by accident seek immediate medical help.   

Always keep sanitizer products out of reach of children.

References

  1. WHO Study
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/show-me-the-science-hand-sanitizer.html
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7301780/
  4. https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/pdf/hand-sanitizer-factsheet.pdf
  5. Safety data sheets: Spray, Gel