GENEVA, Switzerland - June 18, 2015 - The first peer-reviewed report on a study to fully apply the World Health Organization (WHO) protocoli on hand hygiene was released today at the International Consortium for Prevention and Infection Control (ICPIC) conference.

The study evaluated the tolerability and acceptability of an Ecolab hand disinfectant. According to the study Skinman Soft Protect was well tolerated and accepted.

The study was performed in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Hospital Epidemiology, University Hospital Zürich, led by PD Dr. med. Hugo Sax, a recognized global expert in hand hygiene. Ecolab has contributed to the funding of the study but was not involved in its design, execution, and reporting.

"To our knowledge, this is the first time that the full application of the WHO protocol has resulted in the publication of a study," PD Dr. med. Sax said. WHO released the protocol - Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Healthcare - in May, 2009ii. Since publication of the guidelines there has been convincing evidence of an improvement in hand hygiene practices. In turn, this has resulted in a reduction of hospital acquired infections and transmission of multidrug-resistant organisms.

"...Not all initiatives to improve Hand Hygiene are successful and, sustaining high levels of hand hygiene compliance among health care personnel are ambitious goals," according to the study. "Some of the self-reported reasons given for failing to correctly apply hand cleansing include lack of time, inconveniently located and/or scarcity of facilities, forgetfulness, and agents that cause skin irritations and dryness."

The primary endpoint of the study was the skin condition of the participating volunteer healthcare workers. A trained observer rated their skin condition according to well-established dermatological criteria. Skinman Soft Protect surpassed the corresponding WHO benchmark at all visits.

A trained observer (medical doctor) assessed hand skin condition of volunteers using at least 30ml of Skinman Soft Protect per day during their clinical work. Moreover there was a trend to improved ratings with time of use in follow-up visits.

Of the 46 volunteers, 67% preferred the tested product over the product they normally use.

Regarding the application of the WHO protocol the authors conclude: "...[It] is feasible but requires considerable time and logistics. It does not preclude bias, in this case especially due to the necessary switch to personal dispensers."

About Skinman Soft Protect

Skinman Soft Protect is a fully virucidal hand disinfectant registered as a biocide in Europe containing 89% (w/w) ethanol as active ingredient. It has been designed for frequent use and contains Vitamin E known to protect against free radicals, Glycerin and panthenol known to nourish and regenerate the skin.

About Ecolab

A trusted partner at more than one million customer locations, Ecolab (ECL) is the global leader in water, hygiene and energy technologies and services that protect people and vital resources. With 2014 sales of $14 billion and 47,000 associates, Ecolab delivers comprehensive solutions and on-site service to ensure safe food, maintain clean environments, optimize water and energy use and improve operational efficiencies for customers in the food, healthcare, energy, hospitality and industrial markets in more than 170 countries around the world. For more Ecolab news and information, visit


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i Wolfensberger et al. Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control (2015) 4:18 DOI 10.1186/s13756-015-0052-9


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