FDA Questions Health Benefits of Hand Sanitizer

FDA Questions Health Benefits of Hand Sanitizer
Hand sanitizer. It’s become a habit for tens of millions of Americans. People use it even as a preventative measure, and it sells like proverbial hotcakes. There’s even alternative options for people who use a lot or have sensitive or dry skin. But those days could be over. The FDA plans to investigate hand sanitizer claims, not just to see if they work, but to see if they actually do more harm than good.

FDA Calls for Investigation on Hand Sanitizer’s Efficacy

According to various media reports, the FDA is calling for new studies on “how the antiseptic gels and rubs fight germs and get absorbed into the body”… the agency is particularly concerned about the impact on children and pregnant women. And, now that everyone is all worried about whether hand sanitizer is safe for women and children, the FDA dropped the other shoe: the purpose of these studies is a larger effort to “review decades-old chemicals that have never had a comprehensive federal review…”

Sounds ominous, right? Hand sanitizer marketers better take it that way. In today’s fast food media consumption environment, opinions are based on headlines and half-heard snippets from news breaks. Think about it. What would happen if millions of people just read the headline and first paragraph of this story? Instead of having questions they may land on conclusions without ever realizing what the questions really are.

Now, that reality isn’t the fault of the hand sanitizer people, article writers or the FDA, but whose fault it is won’t matter as much as What People Believe about a topic. Opinions, you may have noticed, aren’t always fully informed before they are hardened into “reality” by the people who want those opinions to be true.

The Truth of the Matter

For example, many people won’t read down this far. They should, because they should want to be fully informed, but they won’t. They will end up with strong opinions about this that are, in a word, wrong. For example, here’s an important mitigating factor:

FDA officials stressed the reviews — or calls for the reviews — DO NOT MEAN these products are ineffective or unsafe.

So, why are they doing the studies? Well, simply because they haven’t, and they think they should, but that won’t stop people from believing all manner of terrors related to this announcement.

Are you getting the picture here? Communication and messaging depend as much on the recipient as it does on the sender. That process is anything but clean and sanitized.