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Consumer Reports finds that few waterproof bandages keep the water out

Posted Sunday, January 16, 2011

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Nexcare Clear and Band-Aid Clear/Transparent Water Block Plus fare the best

Yonkers, NY — Waterproof bandages are supposed to protect cuts and scrapes from water and other liquids that can carry germs. But Consumer Reports tested eight bandages labeled waterproof and one labeled water resistant and found only two delivered fairly well when it came to keeping the water out.

Consumer Reports asked 33 panelists to wear each bandage on their fingers for four hours, washing their hands at least twice and flexing fingers hourly. Panelists then dipped their bandaged fingers into room-temperature coffee while flexing them for 15 to 20 seconds, and checked the pads for coffee stains.

Although all the bandages stayed on much better than one with no waterproof claim, only Nexcare Clear ($0.12 per bandage) and Band-Aid Clear/Transparent Water Block Plus ($0.11 per bandage) kept water out more than 60 percent of the time. Nexcare leaked about one-fourth of the time and Band-Aid about 40 percent of the time, compared with more than 85 percent for lower-rated products.

The other tested bandages all received Poor scores for leak protection. Curad Flexible Athletic Strip and Rite Aid Flexible Foam were especially likely to form gaps long the edges of the bandage after the four-hour test.

Most tested bandages have a peel apart wrapper, are rectangular, and have adhesive strips with duct-tape-like fibers that sometimes stayed on skin when the bandage was removed. The Nexcare and Band-Aid Clear are clear, lack those fibers, and leave no adhesive.Consumer Reports suggests that whatever the bandage, clean the wound with soap and water and change the bandage daily and when it’s soiled. Because no bandage is completely watertight, replace it after it gets wet, even if the bandage is still stuck to the skin.

Consumer Reports has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor appearing on this newspaper's web site.

 
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Consumer Reports finds that few waterproof bandages keep the water out
Nnly Nexcare Clear ($0.12 per bandage) and Band-Aid Clear/Transparent Water Block Plus ($0.11 per bandage) kept water out more than 60 percent of the time.
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