Bioterrorism First Responders Use Hand Sense to Stop Biological Agents From Entering Skin

SAN DIEGO -- Firefighters and emergency response personnel attending the Firehouse World Exposition and Conference in San Diego last week participated in demonstrations of Hand Sense, an Israeli-made protective cream that blocks biological agents from entering the body through the skin. Hand Sense is designed to form a protective non-porous shield for users, and can be worn for hours under latex gloves, protecting the users from hyperhidrosis and allergic reactions to the gloves.

"This is no ordinary hand cream," said San Diego firefighter Jim Swartzwelder, "Hand Sense provides us with an important and effective tool for use in blocking agents that harm our personnel. I think it should be on every fire truck and ambulance, and available to all first responders who never know what they'll be facing when they respond to an emergency."

Hand Sense penetrates the epidermal or top layer of skin and forms a soft shield on the dermal layer below, protecting users from acids, solvents, chemicals and biological agents. A single application of Hand Sense provides protection for four hours regardless of washing or scrubbing the skin. At the University of Wisconsin where Hand Sense was first tested in the United States, it quickly gained popularity with doctors and nurses who used it to protect their skin from harsh antimicrobial soaps and latex gloves. If used under gloves and socks it also helps to keep users hands and feet, dry and warm.

"We call Hand Sense 'skin protection for the real world' because it's a simple and effective protection tool," said Rebecca Rinot, vice president of North American Safety Products, the company that distributes Hand Sense in the U.S. First responders are not the only people using Hand Sense. It's now available to consumers at several retail outlets in Los Angeles, New York and other major markets. "If you're building a home emergency response kit you'll need more than duct tape and plastic sheeting. Your recipe for disaster preparedness should also include Hand Sense as chemical and biological agents can be spread by both air and skin contact," said Rinot. She recommends first responders apply Hand Sense before beginning their work shift and again on their lunch break for all-day protection.

Hand Sense reduces perspiration by 75 percent, particularly when used under gloves. Dr. Murray Hamlet, of the Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, touts the benefits of this finding, "Hand Sense looks like hand cream but it's magic stuff," said Hamlet.

Free samples of Hand Sense are available to fire, police and emergency response departments who FAX a request on their letterhead to (800) 600-7112.

Source: Hand Sense