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ETHYL ALCOHOL

ECORAD HARNESSES THE IMMENSE POWER OF ETHYL ALCOHOL FAST-ACTING DISINFECTANT.

WHAT DOES ETHANOL LOOK LIKE?
Ethyl alcohol, also known as ethanol, is a clear, colourless liquid that is mostly used in disinfectant formulas.

To be effective disinfectants according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), products should have an alcohol concentration between 60 and 90%. Because ethanol is a fast-acting and effective killer of microorganisms like bacteria, fungi and viruses, it is a common ingredient in many hand sanitizers and other sanitising products.

USES OF ETHANOL
Ethanol is typically used in concentrations of up to 70%, as higher concentrations evaporate too quickly, and lower concentrations are not as effective.

There are many advantages to using ethanol. It evaporates without leaving a residue, is non-staining, and, apart from its rapid-acting antimicrobial ability, it also has a cleaning ability against grease and stains. It is non-allergenic and can be used as an ingredient in a range of personal care and beauty products, within an allowed range. Using ethanol in conjunction with a disinfecting agent like chlorhexidine provides long-lasting antimicrobial properties.

BENEFITS OF ETHANOL

HOW DOES IT KILL/INHIBIT - BACTERIA
Lipid membrane dissolution and protein denaturation are key mechanisms of the antimicrobial action of ethanol, leading to the disruption of membrane and inhibition of metabolism.

Ethanol kills bacteria through a process known as denaturation. Denaturation involves the breaking of many of the weak linkages, or bonds within a protein molecule that are responsible for the highly ordered structure of the protein in its natural state.

Ethanol molecules are amphiphile chemical compounds, meaning that they have both water-loving and fat-loving properties. Because bacterial cell membranes have a fat-based side as well as a water-based side, alcohol molecules are able to bond with and break down the protective membrane - making it more soluble in water. This causes the cell membrane to lose its structural integrity and fall apart. As it grows weaker, more alcohol molecules are able to enter the cell, and the proteins suspended within the membrane begin to pour out of the weakened membrane. The alcohol molecules then begin to dissolve the proteins through denaturation.

By forming bonds with the alcohol molecules, the amino acids in a given bacterial protein begin to lose their structure, ceasing to function as a result. Because the bacteria cannot survive without those protein functions, the cell dies quickly, essentially being melted apart from the inside and out.

HOW DOES IT KILL/INHIBIT - VIRUSES
The antimicrobial mechanism of alcohol against enveloped viruses is similar to that of bacteria, as both have a lipid-rich outer membrane. Ethanol works by attacking and destroying the envelope protein that surrounds some viruses, including coronaviruses. This protein is vital for a virus’ survival and multiplication.

HOW DOES IT KILL/INHIBIT - FUNGI
In the food industry, fungi are capable of rapid invasive growth into tissue while bacteria are not. Therefore microbial spoilage of fruit and fruit products is always caused by fungi.

Ethanol has been shown to inhibit mould growth on bread, which is usually spoiled by Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Cladosporium. It has also been used to prevent postharvest decay of fruits.

The major target of ethanol as a stress agent is the cell membrane of fungal cells. But it has many other effects, such as denaturation of proteins, and inhibition of the uptake of various nutrients.

Ethanol remains regulated by the CDC, FDA, ECHA and various health ministries as a substance that is allowed for disinfection.



References

Chemical Safety Facts (2019). Ethanol Uses, Benefits, and Chemical Safety Facts. [online] ChemicalSafetyFacts.org. Available at: https://www.chemicalsafetyfacts.org/ethanol/.


Greatist. (2021). Is Alcohol Legit for Killing Germs? [online] Available at: https://greatist.com/health/does-alcohol-kill-germs [Accessed 30 Nov. 2021].


M E B, G. (2019). Public Assessment Report Scientific discussion Chloorhexidinedigluconaat 0.5% m/v in Alcohol 70% v/v Denteck, cutaneous solution (chlorhexidine digluconate/ethanol). [online] Available at: https://www.geneesmiddeleninformatiebank.nl/pars/h120283.pdf.


ehs.missouri.edu. (n.d.). Disinfectants | Environmental Health & Safety | University of Missouri. [online] Available at: https://ehs.missouri.edu/bio/labprac/disinfectants.


Sydney Solvents. (n.d.). 8 Uses for Ethanol Around the Home. [online] Available at: https://www.sydneysolvents.com.au/blog/our-blog/product-talk/8-uses-for-ethanol-around-the-home/ [Accessed 30 Nov. 2021].


Singh, D., Joshi, K., Samuel, A., Patra, J. and Mahindroo, N. (2020). Alcohol-based hand sanitisers as first line of defence against SARS-CoV-2: a review of biology, chemistry and formulations. Epidemiology and Infection, 148.


Flournoy, B. (2018). How Does Alcohol Kill Bacteria? [online] Sciencing. Available at: https://sciencing.com/alcohol-kill-bacteria-5462404.html.


Mohammed, M. (2020). Coronavirus: not all hand sanitisers work against it – here’s what you should use. [online] The Conversation. Available at: https://theconversation.com/coronavirus-not-all-hand-sanitisers-work-against-it-heres-what-you-should-use-133277.


Dao, T. and Dantigny, P. (2011). Control of food spoilage fungi by ethanol. Food Control, 22(3-4), pp.360–368.


Rogawansamy, S., Gaskin, S., Taylor, M., & Pisaniello, D. (2015). An evaluation of antifungal agents for the treatment of fungal contamination in indoor air environments. International journal of environmental research and public health, 12(6), 6319–6332. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120606319



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