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FGCU students, professor make hand sanitizer for dorms, health workers

An FGCU student has been getting a firsthand look at the impact the coronavirus can have after she had to self-quarantine when returning from a trip to Italy. Now, she’s working alongside her peers to get more coronavirus protection in people’s hands.

FGCU student Grace Anderson is among students working alongside a university professor to make hand sanitizer for student dorms and health workers.

“Everything just sort of exploded,” Anderson said.

When it did, Anderson was in Italy on a school choir trip.

“We were called back several days early and put into a self-quarantine,” Anderson said. “None of us were sick. We were all totally fine. But, obviously, caution is best in this situation.”

Trying to make the best of this situation, Anderson, her fellow students and Dr. Arsalan Mirjafari, who has a Ph.D. in organic chemistry, all came together to develop hand sanitizers in a chemistry lab.

“I believe, as a chemist, my job is more than teaching the classes,” Mirjafari said. “So we need to have a real contribution to our world and our community.”

How it works: With ingredient donations from the chemistry department and guidelines from the FDA and World Health Organization, they combine alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, glycerol and distilled water to produce hand sanitizer.

“I believe this is a minimum, minimal contribution to our society to fight this monster,”” Mirjafari said.

After they make the hand sanitizer, the plan is to donate it to campus dorms and local hospitals.

“This is my way to fight coronavirus with a bit of chemistry,” Anderson said.

Reporter:Stephanie Byrne
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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