Frequently Asked Questions

Illness Outbreak

What are the Symptoms of Norovirus?

Norovirus symptoms usually appear 12 to 48 hours after first exposure to the virus, and last approximately one to three days. The most common symptoms of norovirus are:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain

Other symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Body aches

People with norovirus are most contagious when they are sick, and for a few days after they feel better. So, how is it spread? Norovirus spreads quickly and rapidly, people can become infected with it by:

  • Eating food or drinking liquids that are contaminated with norovirus, most likely prepared by an individual who is infected with the virus
  • Touching surfaces or objects with norovirus on them and then putting your hand or fingers in your mouth
  • Having direct contact with a person who is infected with norovirus, for example, when sharing foods, utensils with them1

View hygiene tools and downloads
Learn more about PURELL® Surface Sprays 

1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Norovirus. Retrieved January 24, 2017, from

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What Causes Norovirus?

  • Eating food that is contaminated
  • Drinking water that is contaminated
  • Touching your hand to your mouth after being in contact with a contaminated surface
  • Being in close contact with someone who has norovirus

View hygiene tools and downloads
Learn more about PURELL® Surface Sprays

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PURELL® Products

Can Anyone at GOJO Help Me With an Efficacy Question?

GOJO technical personnel know the science of hand hygiene, monitor the latest research affecting the category and work with global thought leaders, so they may respond to your questions. To contact GOJO technical personnel, call 800-321-9647 and mention that you have a question about efficacy.

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Can I Use PURELL® Hand Sanitizer Safely Multiple Times a Day?

Yes. Numerous studies support the safety of long-term, repeated use of PURELL® Hand Sanitizers. It is critical to practice good hand hygiene at key moments, such as before eating, after using the restroom and after touching objects that are frequently touched by others.1

1. Scientific Studies, GOJO Hand Hygiene Hub

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Do All Hand Sanitizers Work the Same?

No. When it comes to hand sanitizing products, formulation matters. The active ingredient is important but the total formulation affects the product’s effectiveness. The product also has to deliver good skin care performance and be likeable to use.

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Do PURELL® Hand Sanitizers Cause Supergerms?

No. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers kill germs in a different way than antibiotics, and they are not left behind to let the germs either become resistant or become what some people call “supergerms.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is no chance for the germs to adapt or develop resistance to an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, even with frequent use.1

1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings. Retrieved June 2, 2016, from

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How is PURELL® Hand Sanitizer Used?

As with all over-the-counter products, it is important to use PURELL® Hand Sanitizer products properly and according to the instructions on the label: wet hands thoroughly with product, and briskly rub hands together until dry. Adults should always supervise children in the use of the product.  It is important to use PURELL® Hand Sanitizer at key moments throughout the day such as before eating, after caring for someone that is ill, after using the restroom and after touching objects touched by many different hands, for example, the grocery cart handle, the subway pole and elevator buttons.

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How Many Times Can PURELL® Advanced Hand Sanitizer be Used Before Washing Hands?

PURELL® Advanced Hand Sanitizer can be used whenever hands are not visibly soiled. It can be used repeatedly, and there is no need to wash your hands between uses unless they become visibly soiled. Additionally, there is no harmful residue left on hands after use.

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How Many Uses Are in a 2 fl. oz. Bottle of PURELL® Hand Sanitizer?

If used as directed, which is to apply enough PURELL® Hand Sanitizer to thoroughly cover hands, a consumer can get 29-30 uses out of a 2 fl. oz. bottle.

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Is PURELL® Hand Sanitizer Drying to the Hands?

No. There is a misperception that the frequent use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers will dry out the skin on your hands. The truth is that formulation matters. PURELL® Hand Sanitizer has been developed to be used repeatedly without damaging the skin. In fact, studies show PURELL®Hand Sanitizer is gentler on hands than soap and water because it does not strip natural lipids away from hands.1   

1. Boyce JM, Kellher, S., Vallande N. Skin irritation and dryness associated with two hand hygiene regimens: soap and water handwashing versus hand antisepsis with an alcoholic hand gel. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 21:442-448,2000.

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What Does the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Say About Alcohol-based Hand Sanitizers?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recommended the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers when soap and water are not available and hands are not visibly dirty. For more information on the CDC Hand Hygiene recommendations, visit

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What is the Active Ingredient in PURELL® Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer?

The active ingredient in PURELL® Advanced Hand Sanitizer is ethyl alcohol - sometimes referred to as "mother nature's disinfectant." Ethyl alcohol is classified by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a Category I active ingredient, which means it's generally recognized as safe and effective when used as directed.

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When is it Especially Important to Practice Good Hand Hygiene?

Practicing good hand hygiene is especially important:


  • After using the bathroom
  • Before eating or drinking anything
  • Before and after handling raw foods, fish, poultry, or eggs
  • After using a public phone
  • After riding public transportation
  • In schools and day care centers
  • After changing diapers
  • When one is sick
  • After shaking hands
  • After sneezing or coughing
  • After touching an ATM, elevator buttons or escalator handrails

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Who Should I Contact for More Information on PURELL® Products?

For home use, visit For businesses, find out how to buy here. Or, contact the GOJO Customer Interaction Center at 1-800-321-9647.

How to Buy

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Does PURELL® Hand Sanitizer Contain bisphenol A (BPA)?

No. BPA is not an ingredient in PURELL® Hand Sanitizer. Alcohol is the active ingredient in PURELL® Hand Sanitizer.

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Does PURELL® Hand Sanitizer Contain Triclosan?

No. PURELL® Hand Sanitizer does not contain triclosan. The active ingredient in PURELL® Hand Sanitizer is ethyl alcohol.

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Does PURELL® Hand Sanitizer Kill the Resident Germs and Transient Germs on Your Hands?

Germs live all around us. Our bodies are covered with germs that help us stay healthy. These are considered "resident or potentially harmless" bacteria and, they reside on and in the body.  In addition to the resident bacteria, we are also exposed to ones that we pick up from contact with other people or objects. These are called transient bacteria. It is these germs that are often responsible for making you sick. PURELL® Hand Sanitizer reduces some of your resident bacteria while eliminating the transient bacteria on the top layer of your hands. Your body quickly regenerates your resident bacteria. 

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Does PURELL® Hand Sanitizer Really Kill 99.99% of Germs that May Cause Illness?

Yes. PURELL® Hand Sanitizer products are tested against a broad spectrum of micro-organisms and have resulted in more than 99.99% reduction of those organisms. It is prohibited by the Food and Drug Administration for manufacturers to make viral reduction claims.

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Is it Safe for My Children to Use PURELL® Hand Sanitizer?

Yes, PURELL®Hand Sanitizer is safe and effective for everyone. It is important for all of us to practice healthy behaviors like hand hygiene, which includes using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, such as PURELL® Hand Sanitizer.  Children under 6 years of age should be supervised when using any PURELL® product.

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What Does GOJO do to Discourage Misuse by Ingestion in its PURELL® Hand Sanitizer Products?

PURELL® Hand Sanitizer contains bitter, unpleasant-tasting ingredients that make it undesirable to drink. We add the unpleasant taste to all PURELL® products to discourage ingestion. Labels on PURELL® Hand Sanitizer provide instructions to follow in the event of ingestion. Label instructions state: "If swallowed, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away." Consistent with best practices for all products used around children, always supervise PURELL® Hand Sanitizer use by children under six years of age or those whose judgment may be impaired. The benefits of alcohol-based hand sanitizers for safeguarding public health are well-documented in many settings. 

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What is PURELL® Advanced Hand Sanitizer?

PURELL® Advanced Hand Sanitizer is a refreshing instant hand sanitizer that kills 99.99% of most common germs that may cause illness and is used without soap, water or towels.

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What Should Be Done If PURELL® Hand Sanitizer Is Ingested?

Labels on all PURELL® products provide instructions to follow in the event of ingestion. Label instructions state: "If swallowed, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away." 

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When Should PURELL® Advanced Hand Sanitizer be Used?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), alcohol-based hand sanitizers can be used when hands are not visibly soiled. If hands are visibly soiled, use soap and water.

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Why Does PURELL® Hand Sanitizer Contain Alcohol?

Ethyl alcohol is one of the safest and most effective antiseptic ingredients.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that the general public use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.

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PURELL™ Surface Spray

Are PURELL® Surface Spray Products Safe for People and the Environment?

Yes. The expansion of PURELL® products into the surface disinfecting and sanitizing category reflects the GOJO commitment to deliver the best well-being solutions for people, surfaces and the environment.  PURELL® Surface Sprays have the lowest EPA toxicity rating, Category IV and the Design for the Environment Certification. Out of the 3,000 EPA registered surface disinfectants and sanitizers, less than 100 have the EPA’s Category IV lowest toxicity rating. Of those, less than 10 have the EPA’s Design for the Environment (DfE) Certification.

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Are PURELL® Surface Sprays Safe to Use Around Children?

Yes. Out of the 3,000 EPA registered surface disinfectants and sanitizers, less than 100 have the EPA’s Category IV lowest toxicity rating, and of those, less than 10 have the EPA’s Design for the Environment (DfE) Certification.  With no harsh chemicals, the disinfectant is formulated with ethyl alcohol, the same active ingredient in PURELL® Hand Sanitizer. The new surface disinfectant delivers the fastest overall disinfection times of a Design for the Environment product.

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Are PURELL® Surface Sprays Effective on Soft and Hard Surfaces?

Yes, PURELL® Surface Sprays have proven compatibility with most common hard and soft surfaces. Each product label provides a short list of surfaces and materials the product was formulated for use on, including:

Hard Nonporous Surface Materials:

Soft Surfaces: 

  • Acrylic 
  • Chairs
  • Chrome
  • Cotton/Polyester blend fabrics and textiles
  • Glass
  • Couches
  • Glazed tile
  • Curtains
  • Metal
  • Upholstered furniture
  • Plastic
  • Mats
  • Stainless Steel
  • Throw Rugs
  • Vinyl
  • Towels
  • Non-alcohol soluble finished wood (wax,
  • Linens

View product labels for a more complete list of surfaces

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Are PURELL® Surface Sprays Regulated by the FDA or EPA?

PURELL® Surface Sprays are regulated by the EPA.

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Are There Any Surfaces on Which I Should Not Use PURELL® Surface Sprays?

You shouldn’t use PURELL® Surface Spray on surfaces that have an oxidizing agent, like brass, copper and aluminum. Also avoid older, alcohol soluble finished wood. If you’re unsure, always test a small inconspicuous area prior to broad use.

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Does GOJO Make Surface Disinfecting and Sanitizing Products?

Yes. GOJO introduced PURELL® Surface Disinfecting and Sanitizing Products in September 2016. The three products include PURELL® Foodservice Surface Sanitizer, PURELL® Healthcare Surface Disinfectant and PURELL® Professional Surface Disinfectant.

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Does the Product Create Antimicrobial Resistance?

No. Using PURELL® Surface Sprays do not contribute to the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria, as the overuse of antibiotics does. Ethyl alcohol, the active ingredient in PURELL® Surface Spray rapidly destroys the cell membranes and dissolves cell proteins. It evaporates quickly leaving nothing behind to let germs become resistant.

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Do the PURELL® Surface Sprays Kill Mold or Mildew?

Yes, PURELL® Surface Sprays are registered with the EPA as a fungicide, meaning they are able to eliminate mold and mildew.

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What Does No Rinse Food Contact Surface Sanitizer Mean?

All of the PURELL® Surface Sprays can be used on surfaces where consumable food products are placed and stored including food preparation counters, dishes and cooking utensils, equipment and utensils found in dairies, food processing plants and eating and drinking establishments. The no rinse food contact formulation provides a 99.999% bacterial reduction and does not require a rinse-step whether it is used on food contact surfaces or not.

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What Does PURELL TOUCHABLE® Technology Mean?

PURELL TOUCHABLE® Technology means that you can safely touch surfaces right after they have been disinfected with PURELL® Surface Disinfecting and Sanitizing Sprays. No rinsing is required, even for surfaces like food prep counters. Food can be safely prepared right after the surface has been disinfected. Users of the products can safely disinfect surfaces without using gloves or safety glasses. They also do not need to wash their hands after disinfecting surfaces.

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What Does the Lowest EPA Toxicity Rating Mean?

The EPA uses a product’s toxicology data to determine its hazard category rating.  PURELL® Surface Sprays were categorized as Category IV, which is the lowest toxicity rating and therefore does NOT require precautionary statements on label, such as DANGER, WARNING, CAUTION or Hazard to Humans and Domestic Animals.

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What is the Active Ingredient in the PURELL® Surface Disinfecting and Sanitizing Products?

The active ingredient in PURELL® Surface Spray products is ethyl alcohol.

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What is the Difference Between Each of the Different PURELL® Surface Sprays?

GOJO launched three surface sprays for the foodservice, healthcare and professional markets due to both regulatory guidelines and market-specific product requirements. The EPA requires that the product be labeled for the manner in which it will be used. Secondly, each market has unique needs and requirements. Benefits of each PURELL® Surface Sprays include:

The PURELL® Foodservice Surface Sanitizer

  • Formulated for Food Contact Surfaces: No rinse required on food contact surfaces, NSF certified D2 classification
  • Rapid Germ Kill Time: Eliminates Norovirus, Salmonella and E. coli in 30 seconds
  • Easy-To-Use: Patented 1-step sanitizer and cleaner
  • Powerful Peace of Mind: No precautionary statements; no handwashing , gloves or safety glasses required. 
  • Multi-Surface Performance: Proven across most hard and soft surfaces
  • Fragrance-Free – No harsh fumes. Gives peace of mind for use around patrons and food

The PURELL® Healthcare Surface Disinfectant

  • Rapid Germ Kill Time: 30-second disinfection for MRSA, VRE and Norovirus
  • Powerful Peace of Mind: Fragrance-free formulation delivers efficacy without the strong, lingering odor of bleaches and hydrogen peroxide. Ideal for use around patients
  • Easy-To-Use: Patented 1-step disinfectant and cleaner
  • Multi-Surface Performance: Proven performance across most hard and soft surfaces

PURELL® Professional Surface Disinfectant

  • Powerful Peace of Mind™: Tough enough to kill 99.99% of germs on surfaces, including the cold and flu virus, yet gentle enough for children’s toys
  • Easy-To-Use: Patented 1-step disinfectant and cleaner
  • PURELL TOUCHABLE® Technology: No rinse required on food contact surfaces; no handwashing, gloves or safety glasses required, no harsh fumes and no precautionary statements
  • EPA Design for the Environment Certified: Delivers the fastest overall disinfection times of any Design for the Environment (DfE) product
  • Fragranced – Light, refreshing citrus fragrance

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What is Unique About PURELL® Surface Sprays?

There are no trade-offs with PURELL® Surface Sprays.  PURELL® Surface Sprays are certified by the EPA Design for Environment and have the EPA lowest toxicity rating and the fastest overall disinfection times for bacteria and viruses than any other DfE product.  This includes a powerful germ kill for 22 organisms, including MRSA, cold and flu virus and norovirus within 30 seconds.

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What Organisms do the New PURELL® Surface Sprays Kill?

PURELL® Surface Sprays rapidly eliminate 27 organisms with 30-second disinfection on 22 organisms including MRSA, Flu, VRE and Norovirus.

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What is the Scope of the GOJO Commitment to Sustainability?

GOJO is a purpose-driven company committed to driving sustainability through our solutions and the ways we work. Our sustainability commitment includes taking responsibility for our products and proactively reducing their impacts from development through to the end of life. We are also committed to reducing the impacts of our daily business operations.

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What Does Sustainable Ways of Working mean?

Sustainable Ways of Working, or SWOWSM, is about changing the way we think and work at GOJO in order to embed sustainability into all aspects of our business. Practicing Sustainable Ways of Working will create value for GOJO and its stakeholders -- employees, customers, suppliers, partners, communities, society and the ecosystem -- now and for generations to come.

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How is GOJO Addressing Water with Regard to its Sustainability Strategy?

GOJO recognizes water as a precious, but finite global resource, with billions of gallons used every day to grow crops and sustain lives. At GOJO, water is critical to our delivery of health and well-being to the world. We are passionate about preserving this valuable resource. That's why we've identified our own water usage as a target for reduction. As an action undertaken through SWOWSM, we're recycling cardboard to an annual water savings of 93 million gallons. In addition, we've set a goal of further reducing water usage by 30% relative to the 2010 per-product-use by 2015.

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What Does it Mean When We Say Our Product Are "Readily Biodegradeable"?

Biodegrades within 28 days as measured by test method OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development) 301 B, a widely accepted test method for measuring the biodegradability of an ingredient or entire product formula.

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What Does it Mean When We Say Our Products Are Made With Renewable Resources?

PURELL® products included in the GOJO global sustainable solutions portfolio are positioned as “renewable” products and make the supporting claim, “Contains ethanol produced from 100% plant sources.” The description, plant-based or plant-derived is used to distinguish the ethanol in PURELL® from ethanol produced from synthetic or unnatural sources. GOJO also carries a full line of hand soaps and shampoo/shower/bath products that are made, in part, from renewable resources and have earned third-party certification for environmental leadership and proven performance.

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What does Sustainability Mean?

GOJO defines sustainability as being about meeting or exceeding the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet or exceed their own needs. There are three key domains of sustainability:

  • Social - Enhancing quality of life and reducing risks to health and well-being
  • Environmental - Increasing positive impacts and reducing negative impacts on our ecosystem
  • Economic - Building economic strength and prosperity for an enterprise and its stakeholders


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What Does "Sustainable Packaging" Mean When Describing GOJO Packaging?

There are two core sustainability benefits designed into GOJO product dispenser refills:

  • GOJO SMART-FLEX™ Technology: The sustainable packaging strategy applied to invent GOJO SMART-FLEX technology is known as source reduction. This package is a lightweight and recyclable PET bottle made with 30% less material and the same robustness as a standard rigid HDPE bottle.

    What is PET? Polyethylene terephthalate, more commonly referred to at PET, is a plastic known for its strength, thermostability and transparency. Both PET and HDPE plastics are commonly used in beverage, food and liquid containers, but PET plastic is lighter in weight while being just as robust. It’s also recyclable. Because of the robustness of PET, GOJO is able to provide the same amount of product to the customer in a package that uses less plastic.

    We anticipate that this sustainable packaging innovation saves over 250 tons of plastic each year.

  • GOJO SANITARY SEALED™ Refills: This packaging strategy targets the GOJO goal of greater social sustainability by reducing the health risks proven inherent with bulk soap refillable reservoirs. SANITARY SEALED refills, which include fresh dispensing nozzles, are sealed at the factory to lock out germs. Bulk soaps, by contrast, are vulnerable to contamination by unsafe levels of bacteria. That's why GOJO SANITARY SEALED refills are the healthy choice.

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What is the Natural Skin Conditioner in PURELL® Brand Hand Sanitizer?

Natural glycerin is the natural skin conditioner in PURELL® Brand Hand Sanitizer. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are sometimes perceived to have a drying effect. To overcome this perception, we formulate products made with natural glycerin at levels that allow us to make the claim that they condition skin and leave hands soft and refreshed.

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What Role Does CSR Play in the GOJO Communication Effort?

The CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) role and its importance to our sustainability strategy, as described in this interview with Nicole Koharik of GOJO.

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What Sustainability Goals Has GOJO Set?

GOJO has set aggressive, long-range goals to reduce our sustainability impacts. Goals to reduce our sustainability impacts are focused on three areas including water, solid waste and greenhouse gas emissions. By 2015 GOJO strives to reduce water use by 30%, cut solid waste by 25% and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 5% relative to the 2010 per use basis.

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Contact Information

Contact: Kelly Ward-Smith, Public Relations Senior Manager

Phone Number: 330-255-6293
Mobile Phone: 330-819-8638


This contact information is for news media only. For other inquiries, please contact GOJO customer service at 1-800-321-9647 or use the GOJO Contact Us form.