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Green Chemistry Comes in Handy!

New Contributor II
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Have you ever wondered if your little pocket-sized tube of hand-sanitizer really works on germs?  Or more importantly, have you ever wondered if it’s really safe to your health?

The ugly truth is that many anti-bacterial hand-sanitizers contain harmful ingredients such as synthetic fragrances, quaternary ammonium, and the infamous triclosan. Research has shown that over time, some of these ingredients can alter hormone regulation, reduce muscle strength, and even harm the immune system.  Now, where is the safety in that?  Recently, members of the ACS Green Chemistry Institute® (ACS GCI) staff set out to discover an effective and greener alternative to common antibacterial hand-sanitizers and took the experiment on the road!


On July 19-21, 2014, ACS GCI partnered with ACS Diversity Programs at the 2014 National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Family Expo in Los Angeles, California for three fun-filled days of green chemistry education and outreach!  NCLR is the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States that works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans.  In efforts to further the advocacy of green chemistry throughout the global chemical enterprise, this was a partnership opportunity that we could not pass up!


During our outreach venture, ACS GCI staff and volunteers conducted what we like to call the “Clean & Green Hands” table-top experiment that allowed over 600 children to make their own homemade hand-sanitizer using only rubbing alcohol, aloe vera gel, and organic essential oils.  That’s right, just three simple ingredients were used to make hand-sanitizer that is effective and less toxic to the body!

There you have it, another example of how green chemistry can be used in everyday life.  Take the time, and use creativity to make your life greener!

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