What Is A Hand Sanitizer?
A hand sanitizer is also called as handrub, hand rub, or hand antiseptic. It is an agent you apply on your hands and helps remove common pathogens – disease-causing organisms.
Hand sanitizers are in different forms: liquid, gel, and foam. It is recommended for use when you don’t have water and soap for handwashing. You can also use it when repeated hand washing compromises your natural skin barriers such that it causes fissures or scale development.
Not all hand antiseptics are equal. They have variable effectiveness and thus play different roles such as cleaning day-care centers, schools, health care clinics, cruise, supermarkets, and also hospitals.
A sanitizer will depend on its active ingredient, and for these hand antiseptics, they are classifieds into two groups: alcohol-based and non-alcohol type of hand sanitizers. Effective alcohol-based should contain 60% to 95% of alcohol in n-propanol, isopropanol, or ethanol. If used at search high percentage level, alcohol will quickly denature proteins and neutralize some microorganisms.
On the other hand, the alcohol-free types like BioGlove are based on disinfectants and include benzalkonium chloride or antimicrobial agents. An advantage of antimicrobial agents and disinfectants is that they are persistent and act immediately. You’ll find other sanitizers having emollients such as glycerine, and that helps to add fragrance, thickening agents, and soothing your skin.
What Do You Look At Before You Purchase Hand Sanitizers?
Suitable to your skin – There are different sanitizers in the market, but not all will suit your skin. Therefore, choose a product that you find mild to your skin, thus not provoking your skin inflammation. Remember that, if you have sensitive skin, check the ingredients before you purchase.
Safe product – Many sanitizers are formulated using excellent quality ingredients. However, some will contain damaging substances causing problems on your skin. Therefore, you should select sanitizers having pure formulation safe for your use.
Safe storage – Those hand sanitizers having alcohol as their major ingredients are flammable, and you should store them with safety. An arson-causing situation is supposed to be kept out of reach.
What Makes Hand Sanitizers Effective?
Different sanitizers have different ingredients and formulation. Therefore, the effectiveness of a sanitizer will depend on the technique it has been applied. If you want to use, put a few drops and rub the sanitizer on your hand, especially between fingers and the fingertips. When done, resume rubbing for other 20 seconds on your hands until the skin is dry. However, the alcohol-based sanitizer will be more potent to remove germs, unlike non-alcohol based type.
When Does Hand Sanitizers Expire?
Hand sanitizers will require about three years after their manufacturing date. However, the sanitizer will lose its effectiveness after the alcohol concentration drops or dissolves below 60%.
Is There Non-toxic Hand Sanitizer?
Looking at the current time, people are highly concerned about their self-hygiene by washing their hands and keeping their hands free of germs. Soap and water remain the best option to clean hands. And if you don’t have soap and water, there are other ways to keep bacteria and viruses away. The other best option is to use hand sanitizers.
Hand sanitizers have ingredients that can quickly kill these viruses and bacteria, but after you lurk all over the nails, fingers, and hands. The reason why people love hand sanitizers is that they are quick, convenient, and easy to use on-the-go.
There might be many benefits when you use hand sanitizers, but conventional hand sanitizers have a few drawbacks. That’s because conventional sanitizers have loads of chemical ingredients, and they will do serious harm to the skin and whole body. That’s why there is a non-toxic hand sanitizer you can use.
The non-organic hand sanitizers use organic and natural products and can give you the benefit of killing all germs in the safest way possible.
Assuming you’re in an online or physical store but you find a cheap and appealing hand sanitizer. How will you know its the best sanitizer?
The key ingredient you should look at when purchasing hand sanitizers is ethanol, which is also referred to as rubbing alcohol or ethyl alcohol. According to the CDC, effective hand sanitizers should contain a minimum of 60% ethyl alcohol. That’s because Ethyl alcohol will effectively neutralize coronavirus and other pathogens after you apply and allow it to dry.
Non-toxic products should contain safe ingredients such as aloe, water, carbomer, pantheon, glycerine, and someone plant essences such as lavender.
To avoid confusion, avoid hand sanitizers having methanol as their ingredient. Methanol is also referred to as Wood Alcohol or Methyl Alcohol; that’s because it is toxic.
Methanol differs significantly from ethanol because it is made from natural coal and gas. In fact, the FDA has warned the users against hand antiseptics having methanol.
The other product that is toxic and you should avoid is Triclosan. This is an antibacterial agent leading to antibiotic resistance. It is also toxic to frogs and fish.
Hand antiseptics containing synthetic fragrance are also not suitable for use. These will lead to allergic reactions such as headaches, flu-like symptoms, and sneezing.
What Happens If You Swallow Sanitizer?
Sanitizers usually contain alcohol, although FDA approves them but for tropical use. Therefore, sanitizers will contain ethanol, benzalkonium chloride, or isopropanol.
However, if you swallow sanitizers, you are likely to get intoxication and coma. If the product is ethanol based, it will likely cause low blood sugar, leading to seizure in kids.
Methanol, on the other hand, has a narrower range of safety than isopropanol and ethanol. When you use too much methanol, it can cause permanent blindness, severe changes in your body chemistry, and death. However, when you’re buying hand sanitizers, remember to confirm the label whether it contains benzalkonium chloride, isopropyl alcohol, ethanol, or alcohol and not contaminated.
Children are in great danger as they can access sanitizers by putting their mouths on the pumps or licking gel pumped on their hands.
Even when these sanitizers are well produced such that they don’t contain methanol, you can expect two serious problems to children after they swallow them. First, it will lower their blood sugar, and in extreme or untreated conditions, that might lead to seizures and coma. That’s the reason why those found with alcohol are first given sweet things to drink.
What happens to your body if you swallow sanitizer?
After consuming hand sanitizers they will cause stomach irritation causing vomiting and nausea. But a lick might not bring the symptoms.
However, even if a child can sip a product containing methanol in the sanitizer, it will cause poisoning. Besides, long term chronic will cause a problem on your skin. The toxicity level should be considered.
Some people experience these problems because they swallow sanitizers trying to become intoxicated or drunk. While it is not safe for them, but those methanol containing hand antiseptics, the behavior will remain deadly.
Remember that those products contaminated with methanol are dangerous, unlike those made from approved ingredients. These methanol products, you need to ingest small quantities and cause serious health problems. Sometimes, they lead to permanent health effects and death. Unfortunately, it won’t be listed there as an ingredient, but those products are already known. If you come across such, don’t wait for symptoms to develop, you might have permanent problems.
Is Hand Sanitizer Bad For Toddlers?
It is a great question to feel concerned with. Some reports show that a leak of sanitizer will not affect a toddler. However, taking a squat of these hand sanitizers with alcohol will cause tiny tot drunkness. That’s not a surprise because these hand sanitizers usually have 60 to 95% of alcohol, and that is stiffer than Vodka (40%), Wine (10 – 15%), and beer (5 – 7%). You have to store these hand sanitizers where children can’t reach them, similar to mouthwash, facial toners, and booze containing alcohol.
A little lick won’t cause harm, so at what age should toddlers be allowed to use hand sanitizers? There is no rule on that, but the FDA recommends not allowing infants to use them. Here, the term infant refers to all children less than a year old.
If you have to use the hand sanitizers to smaller children, consider these tips:
● Supervise the children all the time they have to use hand sanitizer
● Consider the amount directed by the manufacturer’s instructions (usually, you need only a small amount).
● Teach the children to rub their hands until the sanitizers dry entirely.
If you have small children, you’re supposed to rub their hands. If you find their hands still wet, you should air dry them. Make sure you’re there to supervise them until they are dry.
If you realize that the toddler has ingested any amount, get help from a professional or call the poison control center. Those toddlers who are found to use the sanitizers are prone to respiratory infections.
How Much Hand Sanitizer Can Kill You?
Hand sanitizers are considered as accessible and available alternatives to use for soap and water. However, the high use of these sanitizers has become a problem in recent times. The problem is not about fighting germs effectively but the number of kids, teenagers and adults they are sending to hospitals and graves.
A study by George Poison Control Center claimed that between 2010 and 2015, there were many phone calls made for people who had ingested these sanitizers. The percentage increased by 400%. What attracted the kids is because they are deceived by fruity flavors and scents that also increase the poison in the products. However, there is strong evidence that many teenagers and adults are using the product to get drunk but end with life-threatening results.
The main reason why these hand sanitizers are dangerous is that they have a high amount of alcohol present in them.
If you want to know how much hand sanitizer can kill you consider the following: when you have a 240ml bottle with hand antiseptic gel and contain 60 – 65% ethanol, if you consume it, it means you have taken alcohol level equal to five shots from hard alcohol. That’s why the Georgia Poison Control Center suggests that only a few squirts cause alcohol poisoning to children. Besides, ethanol poisoning is associated with vomiting, blindness, hypothermia, liver damage, coma, and death!
Nevertheless, the danger not only lies in accidental ingestion for young children. Teenagers are using it to get drunk because it’s cheap, with no age limit to purchase, and readily available. The common method the teenagers are using is by making a strong cocktail after mixing with Listerine. The other method is distilling alcohol using salt from gel and end creating hard alcohol. That’s easy for them to access the procedure because it is available online.
Recent reports have shown that emergency rooms increase the number of people with alcohol poisoning from hand sanitizers.
Since the outbreak of coronaviruses, it has become difficult for one to address the issue. Therefore, it recommends that parents and teachers keep alcohol-based sanitizers away from children’s reach. The fruit-scented varieties are a great attraction to kids. As a parent, don’t leave your alcohol-based product out and available to young people when unsupervised. And because prevention is better than cure, parents should purchase foaming types of hand sanitizers because it will be hard to separate alcohol from foam, unlike gel.
How Much Hand Sanitizer Is Too Much?
If you’re using a pump to dispense hand antiseptic, each time it will dispense about 2.5 mL of liquid. Therefore, considering that one pump will have 62% ethanol present in hand antiseptic and be ingested by a kid weighing about 33 lbs or 15kg, then you should expect 17.3 my/dL blood alcohol level, and that would be a considerable amount because toxic level ranges between 80 to 100 my/dL.
It, therefore, means the child will need to drink about 4 to 5 squirts of the same sanitizer before producing toxic effects that require medical attention.
How much hand sanitizer is too much?
It depends on sanitizer concentration and amount consumed. However, a lick of hand antiseptic is enough to produce toxic symptoms.
Can Hand Sanitizer Harm A Baby?
Hand antiseptics are harmful when ingested by a baby. The chemical present irritates their throat lining to cause gastrointestinal problems. If a kid can even drink a small amount, it will cause alcohol poisoning to them, according to the FDA. If you realize your kid has ingested hand antiseptic, call for help from a medical professional or poison control immediately.
According to CDC hand sanitizers are flammable due to alcohol present, but the incidences are low. That’s why you are advised to store away from children and ignition sources. Due to flammability concerns, there are restrictions on shipping alcohol-based types of sanitizers.
Can You Get Addicted To Hand Sanitizer?
It is a severe and mind-blowing idea to think that you can deliberately consume alcohol-based hand antiseptics to get high. However, it is possible because teens also inhale cleaning fluids or drink cough syrup. Some have come to realize hand sanitizers are great and potential sources of them becoming high.
Unfortunately, it is not only teens who imbibe the products; some adults also do it. You might even be tempted to use hand sanitizers so that you become high.
So, can you get addicted to hand sanitizer? Using hand sanitizers will make you addicted because alcohol is a significant ingredient used. An example is a woman who works as a banker at Wells Fargo. She admitted to having been using hand sanitizers throughout her day to help reduce the high-stress work environment. Unfortunately, they came to realize she was already addicted to it.