Nine-year-old proves what ads won’t admit – sanitizers sorta suck

A fourth-grade student in Olympia, Washington has won her local science fair by demonstrating that hand sanitizers suck at killing E. coli.

Nine-year-old Celia Vernon won her class science fair at Roosevelt Elementary with an experiment involving a live sample of E. coli. Under the guidance of her father, a biologist with a background in microbiology, Vernon tested several solutions on E.coli, including Purell brand hand sanitizer.

In a side-by-side comparison with common bleach, the E.coli on the Purell side survived. On the bleach side, it died.

The Vernons say they have no bone to pick with Purell, but were surprised to learn it doesn’t kill one of the main dangers associated with exposures from using bathrooms.

A spokesperson for the makers of Purell told KING 5 News that it stands by its claims to kill 99 percent of germs and suggested we contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A CDC spokesperson says they have not studied hand sanitizers specifically on E.coli and recommend hand sanitizers only when soap and water are not available.

I know 99 per cent sounds cool, but considering the volume of bacteria out there, it don’t mean squat.