Cold Weather and Infection: How Winter Impacts Our Respiratory Defenses
By: Richard Rich
Embracing Health in the Winter Months
As winter approaches, bringing with it cozy fires and warm drinks, it’s important to also consider the health challenges of the season. While cold and wet conditions are often blamed for the rise in colds and flu, scientific research offers a more nuanced understanding of why these illnesses proliferate in colder months.
Debunking Winter Illness Myths
Contrary to common belief, it’s not just exposure to cold weather that heightens our risk of falling ill. Studies have shown that two key factors are primarily responsible for the increased transmission of respiratory viruses in winter: indoor crowding and low humidity. During winter, people spend more time indoors in close quarters, which facilitates the spread of viruses. Additionally, low humidity levels in heated indoor environments make these viruses more stable and airborne, enhancing their transmission.
The Science Behind Increased Winter Infections
Indoor Crowding: In colder months, individuals tend to spend about 90% of their time indoors. This increased indoor crowding results in closer contact and prolonged face-to-face interactions, creating an ideal environment for virus spread.
Low Humidity and Virus Transmission: The dry conditions typical of heated indoor spaces in winter (about 20% relative humidity) are conducive to the stability and airborne transmission of respiratory viruses. Research suggests that maintaining indoor relative humidity between 40 and 60 percent at room temperature can significantly reduce virus transmission.
Impact on Respiratory Defenses: Dry air in winter can dehydrate the mucus in our respiratory tract, making it thick and sluggish. This hampers the ability of cilia, tiny hair-like structures, to move the mucus effectively, which is crucial for trapping and expelling viruses. Consequently, viruses are more likely to remain in the respiratory tract and cause infections.
The Vital Role of Hand Hygiene
Amid these factors, hand hygiene emerges as a crucial defense against seasonal illnesses. The CDC underscores the importance of regular handwashing, but when soap and water are unavailable, hand sanitizers offer a vital line of defense. This is where Industry Care’s innovative hand sanitizer solutions come into play.
Introducing Industry Care’s Unique Hand Sanitizers
We understand the importance of effective and skin-friendly sanitizing options. That’s why our hand sanitizers are based on Benzalkonium Chloride (BZK), an FDA-approved ingredient known for its antimicrobial properties. Unlike alcohol-based sanitizers, our BZK-based products are gentle on the skin, making them ideal for frequent use during the winter months.
Foaming Sanitizer: A Gentle Touch for Frequent Use
Our foaming sanitizer offers a lightweight and non-drying solution, perfect for those who need frequent sanitizing. The foam spreads easily, covering more surface area and ensuring comprehensive protection against germs.
Sanitizing Cream: Nourishment and Protection in One
Understanding the challenges of dry winter skin, our sanitizing cream not only disinfects but also moisturizes. It’s a dual-action formula that keeps your hands germ-free and soft, addressing the common issue of skin dryness due to harsh winter conditions.
Why Choose BZK Over Alcohol-Based Sanitizers?
BZK-based sanitizers like ours offer several advantages over traditional alcohol-based products:
Non-Drying: Alcohol can strip natural oils, leading to dry, cracked skin. Our BZK formulations help retain skin moisture.
Non-Irritating: Ideal for sensitive skin, our sanitizers reduce the risk of irritation and discomfort.
Effective: BZK has been shown to effectively kill germs and viruses, making it a reliable choice for hand hygiene.
Hand Hygiene: Your Winter Shield
Regular hand hygiene, especially in winter, is more than a personal health measure; it’s a community responsibility. By choosing Industry Care’s hand sanitizers, you’re not only protecting yourself but also contributing to broader public health efforts to reduce the spread of winter illnesses.
As we navigate the colder months, let’s prioritize our health and wellbeing. Embrace the benefits of our unique BZK-based hand sanitizers – your partners in maintaining hand hygiene and staying healthy this winter.