Purell Scientist Dr. Jim Arbogast Talks Illness Protection [Interview]

Image Courtesy of Purell Brand YouTube Screenshot

A top Purell expert is the best authority to detail how to avoid illness – especially with the Coronavirus that is on everyone’s mind. With the COVID-19 outbreak, on top of common colds, allergies and stomach bugs arrive it is most important to be ready to practice germ prevention to evade getting sick.

Jim Arbogast, a PH.D. scientist with Purell is working the front lines in the defense against the attacking germs that lead to Coronavirus and other illnesses. Most vital is to be proactive in fighting microorganisms and sickness with good sanitizing habits.

Illness Prevention Begins with Hygiene and Purell

Arbogast is the professional on illness germ prevention creating expert avenues to perform good hand hygiene. As Vice President of Hygiene Science and Public Health Alliances at GOJO Industries, the parent company of Purell, Arbogast works hands-on in creating products to specifically fight germs.

With over 25 years of experience developing products, with an emphasis on hygiene products for more than a decade, he understands the importance of fighting off germs to stay healthy.

“Dr. Arbogast has been directly involved in the formulation and national launch of hundreds of products in the laundry, air freshening, hair care, skin care, and hand hygiene markets.  Under his leadership, the Skin Care Science team has conducted numerous field outcome studies with hand hygiene products to determine their real-world effect on skin condition and infection related rates, as well as microbiology, clinical studies, analytical chemistry, drug stability and new product development.

Germ Deterrence Tips Exposed in Interview

Purell has become synonymous with hand sanitizer. Pumps are seen in locations from

Image Courtesy of Dr. Jim Arbogast

hospitals and doctor’s offices to grocery stores, hotels, and cruise ships – to name just a few. Most parents have the sanitizer on hand to keep family hands clean in the fight against getting sick.

Who better than Arbogast to speak to in order to gain advice in fighting germs that bring on quick-spreading illnesses like Coronavirus. In an interview with the GOJO scientist, he reveals helpful information to decrease the spread of germs that cause infection and sickness.

Carol Ruth Weber: What is the number one thing people can do to fight getting sick?

Jim Arbogast:  Practicing hand hygiene, especially at critical moment when you are at risk, such as in the washroom and before eating, is most important. Alcohol-based sanitizers, such as Purell, as well as hand washing, are equally effective. GOJO has been doing studies, especially with elementary schools, leading up to findings; 20 percent reduction in germs just by using Purell, and a 50 percent reduction with the addition of education and hand washing. Most important, in the fight to stay healthy, is to make sure that when one is around and caring for ill people that sanitizing hands is very critical. After you sneeze or cough into hands make sure to perform hand hygiene. When touching grocery carts, raw foods, and places others have touched, it is most necessary to clean hands to prevent illness.

CRW: How should one wash their hands?

JA: I recommend washing hands 15 to 20 seconds, covering the hands fully and rubbing the lather in before rinsing completely. Where food is being handled, 20 seconds is recommended. A good rule when teaching children about hand washing is that the entire hand washing process should take at least 20 seconds or the amount of time to sing Happy Birthday twice, or recite their ABC’s. Hands should be thoroughly dried after washing to further prevent germs.

CRW: How exactly should hand sanitizer be used in order for it to be most effective?

JA: When soap and water are not available, the use of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, like Purell Hand Sanitizer that contains 70% alcohol, is advised. Using about a quarter size in palm of hand is recommended. You need to cover the entire hand, especially the fingertips – which are most prone to touch germs. Rub the sanitizer in until dry, for about 15 seconds. Formulation is very important; ingredients have an effect on how much you need.

[Arbogast’s studies with GOJO are specifically with Purell. He notes that all should understand that it is normal for germs to be on our hands all the time; the purpose of sanitizing is to reduce the germs.]

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CRW: What can we do to prevent others from making us sick?

JA: I suggest that everyone should make sure others use tissues and elbows when coughing or sneezing. It is very important to keep your own hands away from your own face, nose, eyes, and mouth where germs can be spread very easily. One must clean hands before grabbing food items.

CRW: There has been a lot of debate about the formal handshake – Do you believe in a fist bump or handshake?

JA: Don’t be inhibited about social behavior as long as you prevent germs from getting you sick. Wash or use Purell soon after a handshake. Don’t be afraid to shake, just be aware of prevention and guarding yourself against key moments – such as when someone else is sick or right before eating.

CRW: Can someone be too neurotic with using hand sanitizer?

JA: Knowledge and science are still being learned about how different bacteria affects us. Everyone has resident germs and bacteria which is normal. Keeping the transient germs off hands at the right moments is necessary. Alcohol-based sanitizers are now the standard of care in hospitals for hand sanitizing. Along with the Purell bottled gel, Purell sanitizing wipes are a great alternative for on the go sanitizing to have when traveling.

Purell Disinfectants to Help Curb Spread of Coronavirus

With Coronavirus and other illnesses so easily spread just by a quick touch, it is vital to

Image Courtesy of GOJO Industries

assure that all common surfaces and objects are cleaned often and effectively. Phones, computers, door handles, handrails, elevator buttons all create breeding grounds for germs. Employees and members of households should be proactive in disinfecting all surfaces in the effort to stop the spread of infectious microbes.

Arbogast speaks of the use of Purell Surface Disinfectants to be shown to be effective in fighting Coronavirus strain 229E on hard, nonporous surfaces. As stated on GOJO, “Update on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, Wuhan, China,” as written by Arbogast:

“These products qualify for emerging viral pathogen claims per EPA’s Guidance to Registrants: Process for Making Claims Against Emerging Viral Pathogens not on EPA-Registered Disinfectant Labels’ when used in accordance with the appropriate use directions. Therefore, PURELL® Surface Disinfectants can be used against Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) when used in accordance with the directions for use and a 1-minute contact time on hard, nonporous surfaces.”

Take the lead from Arbogast to win the battle against getting sick by practicing the best of illness germ prevention. Sing out in Happy Birthday cheer with handwashing to fight off the evil germ demons, and always have Purell on hand to assure the best of hygienic clean-up.

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