Antiseptic Wipes vs Rescue Wipes

On scene decontamination has become the industry standard for modern day firefighting.  It is evident that first responders are encouraged to decontaminate their skin and personal protective equipment following exposure in order to help reduce cancer risk. Fire departments are now questioning what the best and safest practices are for on scene fire decontamination. Cleansing wipes are proven to dramatically help reduce skin contamination as dermal absorption, but not all cleansing wipes are the same.

What are the differences between Antiseptic Wipes and Rescue Wipes?

The primary ingredient in Antiseptic Wipes is alcohol. The FDA discourages the use of Alcohol (Ethanol) for bodily cleansing. Alcohol (Ethanol) is extremely detrimental to your skin, causing dryness, erosion of the skin's surface, deteriorates skin replenishment functions and how skin rejuvenates itself. For firefighters, alcohol (Ethanol) based products can allow for an increase in carcinogenic absorption.

Alcohol (Ethanol) is also proven to destroy skin cells, otherwise known as apoptosis. There was a dermatological study conducted by the University of Toronto and the Departments of Clinical Pharmacology, Dermatology and Medicine. This body of work illustrated the correlation of Ethanol exposure and skin cell self-destruction. They tested the effects of 3% of alcohol (Ethanol) and applied it to skin cells over the course of two days. Results concluded an increase of cell death by 26%. Most antiseptic wipes contain more than 60% of Alcohol (Ethanol) which is more than 20 times the amount tested in the study.

For proper on scene decontamination, firefighters are encouraged to utilize a minimum of 5 wipes per person, with each wipe treating each exposed permeable area of the body individually to prevent cross contamination. Applying 300% or more of Alcohol (Ethanol) after each deployment can cause detrimental health outcomes for firefighters. The study also reveals that alcohol (ethanol) terminates the substances in cells that reduce inflammation and defend against “free radicals”. Skin cells then fall into a stage of Apoptosis, where millions of skin cells self-destruct on a daily basis. The process of decontamination was developed in order to help better protect our firefighters from adverse health issues. Using antiseptic alcohol (ethanol) wipes will only contribute to those negative issues.  

According to the Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, Alcohol (Ethanol) is a topical penetration enhancer. Ethanol enters the skin and removes significant quantities of the lipid barrier material from the stratum corneum. The barrier function of the skin relies almost entirely on the stratum corneum. By extracting the lipids, the skin barrier function weakens and may render the membrane more permeable. By applying ethanol wipes, you are actually diminishing your skin's ability to protect you from carcinogenic dermal absorption and in turn making your body even more vulnerable than it was before decontamination.

Alcohol (Ethanol) based products are also extremely flammable. Firefighters are expected to utilize decontamination wipes on the fire scene. There may be potential of ignition and put firefighters at an unnecessary risk of danger.
Additionally, using alcohol on personal protective  equipment may lead to a premature breakdown of those materials.

The FDA encourages the utilization of soap and water as opposed to antiseptic alcohol based products, for the obvious reasons listed above. Rescue Wipes is a soap and water based product acting as a shower as opposed to a hand sanitizer. Rescue Wipes contain more than 90% of purified and deionized water along with antioxidants, common surfactants, skin moisturizers and anti-inflammatory agents commonly found in healthy cosmetic products today. Rescue Wipes do not contain any Alcohol whatsoever. Rescue Wipes do not contain Methylisothiazolinone (MI), a once common moisturizer believed to cause allergic reactions. Rescue Wipes do not contain any Paraben, a preservative with carcinogenic properties that have been linked to breast cancer. Our product also does not contain any Latex, which has been known to cause allergic reactions as well.

Rescue Wipes use only safe and premium ingredients. They do not leave residue, pull apart or leave a scent. Rescue Wipes are also hypoallergenic and include aluminum-lined packaging to withstand extreme environments and stay preserved over long periods of time.

When seeking best decontamination practices for firefighter overall safety, Rescue Wipes provide all the qualities needed to sufficiently help clean and protect firefighters from adverse health risks. Studies conclude that antiseptic Alcohol (Ethanol) based products are extremely damaging to your body and can cause incurable disease. The FDA concludes that soap and water based products are in fact just as effective at removing bacteria from your body as alcohol based products, but does so without the detriment to one’s health.

Use Rescue Wipes to help safely remove the soot and carcinogens from your skin and protective equipment in order to help reduce your exposure and lessen your overall cancer risk. Wipe away the risk!

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