FORT WORTH, Texas, Nov. 6 (UPI) -- Most U.S. adults who use hand sanitizers say they keep germs away for one hour or more, but they only protect for about 2 minutes, a researcher said.
Lawton Seal, director of medical science for infection prevention at Healthpoint Ltd. in Fort Worth, Texas, says the leading products eliminate germs on contact but work for as little as 2 minutes.
The survey indicates 58 percent of the 1,007 U.S. men and women say they believe their hand sanitizer keeps germs at bay for an hour or more.
"This is a common misperception among consumers," Seal says in a statement. "People are unaware that they are vulnerable to germs almost immediately after they cleanse their hands with short-acting hand sanitizers."
Of those Americans who use hand sanitizers, 71 percent say they use them for peace of mind, 81 percent say they are worried germs will cause them to get sick and 73 percent say they were concerned they will spread germs to families and friends.
Twenty-nine percent say they think retail stores, grocery stores and ATMs are the "germiest" locations they frequent, while 18 percent say subways, trains, buses and planes have the most germs.
The survey, conducted by Opinion Research Corp. between Aug. 20-23, for Healthpoint, which makes OutLast Long-Lasting Hand Sanitizer that kills 99.99 percent of germs and works for up to 6 hours. No margin of error was provided.