Local schools using Healthy Alternatives’ X3 sanitizer to help prevent spread of MRSA

X3 at work Tyrone running back Shayne Tate and wide receiver Shane Emigh said the spread of illness on the football team has been drastically reduced since each player was given a personal sized bottle of the hand sanitizer in July. The team uses the X3 twice a day to help combat germs and bacteria. The foam sanitizer kills various strains of staph infections, Ecoli, Herpes, Salmonella, Hepatitis A and B, HIV and much more. (The Daily Herald/Amanda Golden)

Many people have heard the phrase “staph infection” but recently another term has been plastered all over the news, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection, or more commonly referred to as MRSA.
MRSA, which does not respond (is resistant) to many antibiotics, is caused by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria (staph) which are bacteria found on the skin and in the nose of people. Staph are usually harmless, but can sometimes cause infection and serious illness.
About a third of people carry MRSA on their skin or in their nose without knowing it. However, a MRSA infection can occur when the bacteria get into body tissues or the bloodstream and multiply.
As of yesterday, MRSA outbreaks have been reported in 10 states including Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Connecticut, New York, West Virginia, Maryland, Illinois, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
The Center for Disease Control reported there were 94,000 cases of MRSA with 18,000 deaths in 2005.
Normally associated with hospitals and the medical profession, infections can be contracted anywhere there is close contact, including health clubs, locker rooms, gymnasiums, prisons and military facilities. Many of the recent outbreaks have been linked to schools and colleges.
MRSA is spread through touching or squeezing the infected body area, such as a boil or wound; using soiled towels, clothes or bed sheets that have been used by a person with an MRSA infection; using grooming items that have been used by a person with an MRSA infection and not washing hands carefully.
The best way to prevent the spread of MRSA is through hand washing.
Individuals should wash their hands before and after touching or dressing an infected area; after using the restroom; after blowing your nose; before handling or eating food; before handling newborn babies and after touching or handling unwashed clothing or linen.
Area schools have taken a proactive stance when it comes to MRSA in Blair County.
Many have been using a hand sanitizer known as X3, which kills the MRSA bacteria along with many other dangerous viruses, including various strains of staph infections, Ecoli, Herpes, Salmonella, Human Coronavirus (related to SARS), Hepatitis A and B, HIV and much more.
What many people may not realize is X3 is a product based right here in our community.
Chuck Banas, of Healthy Alternatives in Bald Eagle, said the hand sanitizer was developed over two and a half years ago when coaches noticed a problem in the Tyrone football locker room.
Banas, who is also a Tyrone football coach, said the players were getting sick and it would just pass from player to player throughout the season.
“We wanted to know, how can we keep these kids healthy so they can play,” Banas said.
He took the problem home, and through his business, Healthy Alternatives, began talking to different laboratories, coming up with ideas to prevent the spreading of illness in the locker room.
The final product is a foaming hand sanitizer called X3, named because it is odorless, contains no dye and is alcohol free. After squirting the sanitizer on your hands, rub together as if washing them and the product is completely dry within 12-15 seconds. There is no burning from alcohol, no smell and no stickiness, which is sometimes associated with waterless hand sanitizers.
Currently, Healthy Alternatives is the only place to distribute this product.
While developed prior to the MRSA outbreaks, the recent awareness of this health concern has lead to an increase in requests for X3.
Besides Pennsylvania, Healthy Alternatives is currently supplying the sanitizer to New York, Virginia, Tennessee, Florida, Rhode Island, Colorado, Washington, Texas, Illinois, California, North Carolina and Canada.
But, this is an international problem and there are also discussions under way to supply the Egyptian government, Venezuela and Puerto Rico.
“Locally, as a community in Blair County, we’ve become very proactive,” said Banas.
Tyrone School District has been using the hand sanitizer since July. It started with the football team, each member having received their own bottle of X3 to use twice daily.
Running back Shayne Tate and wide receiver Shane Emigh both agreed that since using the product, the football team has been a lot healthier, with less illness passing from player to player.
In the elementary school, each teacher has been provided with a large bottle of X3 for their desks while all the schools have sanitizer available in the cafeterias.
Altoona School District is using the sanitizer and Bellwood-Antis has also started using the product.
Bellwood-Antis School District Superintendent Brian Toth said B-A schools started using hand sanitizers last year because of the flu pandemic. Dispensers were placed in the locker rooms, cafeteria and computer rooms. The dispensers contained a gel-type sanitizer but B-A football coach John Hayes was so impressed with the X3 product, he requested it be placed in the locker rooms.
Toth also liked the foam sanitizer and said switching all the dispensers over to X3 may be a possibility in the future, once the current supply has been diminished.
He said the school wanted to “do whatever we can to help stop the spread of viruses, bacteria and diseases.”
Banas said Bishop Guilfoyle and Hollidaysburg are also looking into using X3 in the schools.
A 2.5 ounce personal bottle of X3 provides between 275 and 290 hand washings, while a larger 33 ounce bottle provides approximately 2,500 washings.
For more information or to place an order, interested individuals can visit the website www.x3clean.com, call toll free at 1-888-868-3108 or locally at 684-7929.