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The Real Cost of Being Clean

By Lewis Braham - 2013-07-16T19:53:16Z

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It’s not the dirt they can see that scares people today. It’s the germs they can’t. George W. Bush famously used Purell after shaking Barack Obama’s hand when they met for the first time, and then offered Obama some Purell, saying "Good stuff." Hand sanitizer sales were up 8 percent to $186 million in the past year, according to market research firm IRI. Sales leap during outbreaks of disease. “With the flu virus sweeping Asia in 2009, a whole bunch of companies took advantage of that fear of germs to push product,” says Dara O’Rourke, chief sustainability officer at UL Good Guide, a subsidiary of Underwriters Laboratories that rates consumer products on their health, environmental and social impact.