Friday, June 20, 2008


This bottle of Purell in front of me has a claim on the front stating that the solution with

Kills 99.99% of Most Common Germs That May Make You Sick

Now on first glance, that sounds pretty good.  But that seems like an awful lot of qualification for the giant bold font on the front of every bottle of this stuff sold. Usually that is the place reserved for "New" or "Improved" or "New and Improved" or "This will increase the size of your...".  You get the idea.  But this carefully crafted claim seems to be reaching.

Taken one piece at a time:

Kills 99.99%Now that may seem like a lot, but when you consider that there are millions of bacteria on your hands most of the time leaving 1 in 10,000 there means there still kind of a lot. And what is it that is left behind?

of Most (but not all) Common (but not the really nasty ones) Germs - So you mean all the standard stuff that people have been dealing with for millennia is have covered.  Anything slightly weird and you're on your own.  And even those, this only gets Most of them and even the Most that are do covered, it will only get 99.99% of those.  So this stuff will basically clean up the Darwin Award Winning bacteria.  Very comforting. 

That May Make You Sick - All those ones that WILL make you sick, no promises.

Remind me not to hire the Purell marketing guys to sell anything.

That said, don't worry too much about what's on your hands.  When you lick your hands you're usually cleaning off your tongue.

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