Why 70% Ethyl Alcohol?
You may see that many of our products containing alcohol hold a 70% volume concentration of Ethanol (or ethyl alcohol). With all of the products in the market you may be wondering, “Why 70%? Why that kind of alcohol? What does it do exactly?” Well, let’s break it down a bit…
TYPES OF ALCOHOLS
At the beginning of this pandemic you probably were scurrying to find a hand sanitizer and ended up chasing one that smelled like it had expired 10 years ago. You may have picked up some Methyl Alcohol (or methanol). This is a wood alcohol and is actually NOT safe on the skin in these high concentrations. Ingestion is potentially deadly which makes products containing it a high risk for those with small children. “Substantial methanol exposure can also result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death.”* Be advised that if you have an alcohol-containing product from before this year, even if it is labeled as containing “ethyl alcohol”, it may have a higher than safe concentration of methanol. You can click on this link to find FDA’s database for information on recalled brand of products found to contain this toxic alcohol.
Another common alcohol used in many cosmetic and first aid products is Isopropyl Alcohol (or isopropanol and sometimes referred to as rubbing alcohol). Isopropyl is a synthetic alcohol made from propylene and is toxic when ingested as well so it also poses a risk to those especially with small children. The antiseptic, virucidal, and disinfecting properties of Isopropyl alcohol are very similar to Ethyl alcohol although Isporopyl alcohol is “not active against the nonlipid enteroviruses.”**
Ethyl Alcohol (or ethanol) is a naturally derived alcohol, also known as the grain alcohol. This is the type of alcohol used in adult beverages- although unfortunately the kind you find in your hand sanitizer is denatured and can not make you intoxicated. Ethyl alcohol is used and proven effective as an antiseptic killing bacteria on your skin, as a virucidal “inactivating all of the lipophilic viruses (e.g., herpes, vaccinia, and influenza virus) and many hydrophilic viruses (e.g., adenovirus, enterovirus, rhinovirus, and rotaviruses but not hepatitis A virus (HAV) 58 or poliovirus)”***, and as a disinfectant. This alcohol has drying properties which is why it’s important to use products containing hydrating and soothing additives like aloe and vitamin E.
When choosing an antiseptic product for use on the skin, the CDC claims that the optimum bactericidal concentration ranges between 60%-90% solutions in water (volume/volume)***. Most products on the shelf including the name brands aim for the minimum bar holding their standing at around 62%. This leaves a very little margin for error, misuse, or under use.
On the other hand, you don’t want to surpass that 90% concentration or you will also risk losing effectiveness due to the alcohol drying out (evaporating) too quickly. The alcohol needs to stay on the skin long enough to be effective in breaking down the virus membrane. With a higher concentration and a more potent alcohol solution, you also are increasing the risk of inhaling the fumes at a toxic level while also increasing flammability.
We have settled on a strong 70% Ethyl alcohol concentration for all of our Juicey® products with alcohol as the active ingredient. This makes us feel confident in our products ability to provide you with an effective antiseptic made from natural ingredients that is also gentle enough to use on anyone in the family throughout the whole day. We also make sure to always add aloe vera and vitamin E to every product to protect even the most sensitive skin from drying out and irritation from the alcohol. From hand sanitizer to antibacterial wipes and alcohol sanitizing wipes, we carry our consistency of quality throughout our whole product line.
We hope to share our knowledge of this industry with our communities to give you a better sense of choice when shopping for the items that can help you keep your family clean and safe during this pandemic and beyond.
Katelyn U., Juicey® US