gms | German Medical Science

GMS Hygiene and Infection Control

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Krankenhaushygiene (DGKH)

ISSN 2196-5226

Alcohol-based hand disinfectants and skin antiseptics contamination

Letter to the Editor

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  • corresponding author Somsri Wiwanitkit - Wiwanitkit House, Bangkhae, Bangkok, Thailand
  • Viroj Wiwanitkit - Hainan Medical University, Haikou, China; Faculty of Medicine, University of Nis, Serbia

GMS Hyg Infect Control 2014;9(1):Doc01

doi: 10.3205/dgkh000221, urn:nbn:de:0183-dgkh0002219

Veröffentlicht: 7. März 2014

© 2014 Wiwanitkit et al.
Dieser Artikel ist ein Open Access-Artikel und steht unter den Creative Commons Lizenzbedingungen ( Er darf vervielfältigt, verbreitet und öffentlich zugänglich gemacht werden, vorausgesetzt dass Autor und Quelle genannt werden.



Sir, the recent article by Steinhauer et al. [1] is very interesting. Steinhauer et al. reported that “primary packaging material and use were not found to pose a significant contamination risk as far as bacterial spores are concerned” [1]. In fact, the contamination of hand disinfectants and skin antiseptics can be expected. In tropical world where the climate is proper for the growth of pathogen, the problem might be more serious. The poorer quality control process in manufacturing steps is also a very important problem. In a report from Taiwan, the contamination of alcohol used in hospital due to bacterial contamination from the manufacturer could be seen [2]. Additionally, when one focuses interest on disinfectants and antiseptics, one might forget to consider on water, pipeline and tap contamination.


Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


Steinhauer K, Meyer B, Ostermeyer C, Rödger HJ, Hintzpeter M. Hygienic safety of alcohol-based hand disinfectants and skin antiseptics. GMS Hyg Infect Control. 2013 Nov 6;8(2):Doc19. DOI: 10.3205/dgkh000219 Externer Link
Hsueh PR, Teng LJ, Yang PC, Pan HL, Ho SW, Luh KT. Nosocomial pseudoepidemic caused by Bacillus cereus traced to contaminated ethyl alcohol from a liquor factory. J Clin Microbiol. 1999 Jul;37(7):2280-4.