Concerned about the availability of water and soap to clean her hands before helping patients, in 1966, Lupe Hernandez, a student nurse from Bakersfield, CA, came with the brilliant idea of mixing rubbing alcohol and a gel to carry around and keep her hands sanitized.
As reported by The Guardian, when Hernandez realized how her formula could have an impact in the medical world, she immediately contacted an inventions hotline that she had previously heard on television. After registering the patent, through the decades her invention transformed into a multibillion-dollar industry generating $2.4 billion in 2017 and is anticipated to reach $5.5 billion in 2024.
After its invention, this antiseptic liquid, foam, or gel has always been an indispensable product in many people’s lives who uses it to inhibit the spread of infectious microorganisms and other harmful bacteria on the hands. According to the Hand Sanitizer Market Research Report from Reports and Reports, alcohol-based hand sanitizers are generally more effective in eliminating microorganisms, especially those immune to soap and water. The report also revealed that the markets for hand sanitizers are expected to have strong growth going forward and is nowhere near saturation.
Unfortunately is still unclear what happened to Hernandez, but as reported by Remezcla, she is mentioned in The Growth and Development of Nurse Leaders, Second Edition —a book about professional nursing and leadership.