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The washing of hands is among the first good habit taught to people by their parents and teachers, since hands are also among the first things people put in their mouth. With the growing pollution in the air and water, keeping the hands clean has become even more important than ever. Therefore, the increasing awareness of people about this healthy habit is aiding in the hand sanitizer market growth. The purpose of using such products is to kill pathogenic microorganisms on the hands and palms.
Other than those spreading from animal bites, such as Plasmodium falciparum (malaria parasite) and dengue virus, most infections spread through contaminated soil and water. Even if the contaminated water hasn’t been drunk, not washing the hands after coming in contact with it and then putting the fingers in the mouth (such as during eating) can transmit the pathogen inside the human body. The most common, but often deadly, diseases caused by contaminated water are typhoid, gastroenteritis, hepatitis A, cholera, giardia, dysentery, E. coli, and salmonella.
Additionally, several diseases spread through nasal droplets, such as the coronavirus, which has presently taken the form of an epidemic. People often cover their mouths while coughing, and if infected persons touch something else with their hands and healthy people touch them too and then accidentally put their hands in their mouth or bring it near their nose, the virus spreads. Same is the case with nasal droplets, which come out when infected people sneeze; on touching a surface harboring the pathogen, the virus spreads. This is why keeping the hands clean is of paramount importance, which is driving the demand for sanitizers.
Another reason behind the growth of the hand sanitizer market is the heavy consumption of such products in medical settings. In hospitals, these can be commonly seen, because, as such settings host lots of sick people, the chances of healthy people contacting a disease is quite high. Further, after every physical check-up or surgery, doctors have to follow strict mandates of sanitizing their hands. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the U.S., every day, one in every 31 hospitals records a hospital-acquired infection case.
With the prevalence of COVID-19 surging on a daily basis, already crossing the 250,000 mark within just three months of the outbreak, hospitals — both temporary and permanent — are being constructed everywhere, while college dormitories and hotels are being advised to install isolation rooms and procure other necessary products such as facial masks, so that patients can be isolated until recovery, due to the rapid shortage of hospital beds. Therefore, as an increasing number of people are tested for coronavirus and they test positive, the demand for sterilizing and cleaning products will continue surging, thereby resulting in the hand sanitizer market growth.
With more people becoming aware of the ways to prevent the spread, they are rapidly purchasing hand sanitizers, and medical stores, retail establishments, hospital pharmacies, and supermarkets/hypermarkets are running out of them. Therefore, with the virus reaching new countries, the hand sanitizer market players, including Reckitt Benckiser Group plc, Procter & Gamble, The Himalaya Drug Company, Henkel AG & Company, and Unilever, have a vast potential for growth in the coming years, as keeping the hands clean is being strongly promoted by national and state governments as well as international bodies such as the World Health Organization (WHO). Further, with an increase in their disposable income, more people are purchasing hand sanitizers instead of soap, even for everyday purposes.