Ask McFartnuggets: "Does Purell Kill Ebola?"

The cure for Ebola?
No. Plus that's KY Jelly.
Dear McFartnuggets: 
Does Purell kill Ebola? Will it protect me from getting the Ebola? If I get The E can I chug Ebola to cure it? -- Cynthia from Rockport, Maine

Dear Cynthia:
That’s a tricky question. The World Health Organization has been advising people to use hand sanitizer and to wash their hands if they’ve been traveling so it must help some. However, according to the WHO, Ebola is killed by the following: sodium hypochlorite, lipid solvents, phenolic disinfectants, peracetic acid, methyl alcohol, ether, sodium deoxycholate, 2% glutaraldehyde, 0.25% Triton X-100, β-propiolactone, 3% acetic acid (pH 2.5), formaldehyde and paraformaldehyde, and detergents such as sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS).

Now here’s the ingredients of Purell: Ethyl alcohol, water, isopropyl alcohol, glycerin, carbomer, fragrance, aminomethyl propanol, propylene glycol, isopropyl myristate, and tocopheryl acetate.

As you can see, none of the things from the Purell ingredients are in the list of stuff that kills Ebola. The one similarity there is Methyl and Ethyl alcohol. These aren’t the same thing. They have different chemical compositions. I think if Purell could definitely kill Ebola, the CDC would have listed ethyl alcohol instead of just methyl. Why not just say “All types of alcohol”? Either the WHO made a mistake, or Purell is leaving out a key ingredient. The reason this is a curious omission is a note from Purell’s own website:

Ebola viruses are high risk pathogens that must be contained and are not readily available for laboratory testing. As of today, we are not aware of any hand sanitizers that have been tested against Ebola viruses, including PURELL® Hand Sanitizer. However, it is important to note that the Ebola virus is an enveloped virus. Enveloped viruses in general are easily killed or inactivated by alcohol. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are recommending handwashing and the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer as a preventive measure during this outbreak.

So even Purell won’t outright say it can kill Ebola. They’re admitting they have no idea. They don't want to risk being sued for lying. That’s a key thing to notice. Using Purell when you’re covered in Ebola has to be better than nothing, but I wouldn’t assume it works. And no, chugging Purell won’t cure you of Ebola. Do you think if it was that easy this would even be an issue? So yeah, use Purell, but don’t think it’s some kind of magic wonder shield that can save you from Ebola, because it probably won’t.

Send your questions to PizzaTesticles@yahoo.com and for godsake it’s just Ebola, not THE Ebola. Stop calling it that!

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