By Todd Charlebois, Director of Sales for Canada

Throughout history there has always been skepticism surrounding new discoveries. 

Did you know that even when handwashing was first linked with safer medical practices, a majority of doctors refused to wash their hands before performing surgery?

In Europe in the 1840s, a Hungarian doctor Ignaz Semmelweis practicing at Vienna General Hospital started noticing that more women were dying after childbirth if a male doctor delivered the baby, rather than a midwife. Semmelweis tested a number of hypotheses to understand what was causing these deaths. When Semmelweis made the connection that the male doctors were often coming right to the delivery from performing autopsies, he realized they were likely infecting the patients with what he deemed “cadaverous particles.” (At the time, medical professionals did not wash their hands.)

Semmelweis concluded that by washing their hands, doctors could keep their patients healthy. He made sanitizing hands and instruments with a lime solution mandatory for all doctors at the hospital and mortality rates dropped significantly. However, the larger medical community rejected his findings and handwashing didn’t catch on in the medical community for a few more decades. Not until the introduction of “germ theory” by Louis Pasteur in the 1870s did surgeons start regularly washing their hands before performing surgery.

The general public didn’t actually start practicing regular handwashing until the 1980s. That’s when the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) endorsed hand hygiene as a way to curb foodborne illnesses. The CDC released guidelines to encourage the public to wash hands before consuming food, which eventually caught on as common practice in North America. Since then, hand hygiene has become a central tenet of infection prevention across the globe. The World Health Organization has helped to get the message of handwashing accepted in all countries, providing tools and resources in its Global Handwashing Partnership to save lives through hand hygiene.

As we look toward the future of hand hygiene, healthier methods for hand washing are on the horizon.  Charlotte Products has developed—for the first time in the commercial industry—a USDA Certified Organic hand soap. Our organic hand soap has also been produced in our USDA Organic Certified facility, which means that we have preserved the integrity of organic ingredients and products by preventing commingling with non-organic ingredients and products throughout processing. 

The launch of our 2022 ISSA Industry Innovation Award, ALLORGANICⓇ USDA Organic Certified hand soap hand soap marks the beginning of an era of healthier handwashing. Our Enviro-SolutionsⓇ and ServCleanⓇ  ALLORGANICⓇ Foaming Hand Soaps are proven safer for human health and the environment. Our program includes five products designed to be effective and safe for washing hands and removing germs in an touchless proprietary dispensing system as well as a proprietary manual dispensing system. 

The Charlotte Products Hand Hygiene Program is now available for all facilities. This system includes your choice of product, including an organic foaming hand soap, unscented foaming hand soap, scented foaming hand soap, foaming hand sanitizer and a gel hand sanitizer. It also comes with education resources to promote handwashing in your buildings and free safe, proprietary dispensers. Contact an expert at Charlotte to learn more.