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hand sanitizerHand sanitizer can be found everywhere, at the entrance of grocery stores, in restaurants and even at the doctor’s office.  We have it in our purse, car, gym bag and we even encourage children to carry it in their backpacks and use it at school.  All to make us feel clean and keep germs at bay, but what is hand sanitizer doing to the body?

Hidden dangers you should know:

  • Some hand sanitizers could have toxic chemicals such as fragrances. Companies are not required to disclose fragrances and synthetic fragrances can be made up of chemicals (such as phthalates and parabens).  Phthalates are endocrine disruptors that could mimic hormones and could alter genital development (Fukushima, 2014).  Parabens are reported to have carcinogenic properties.
  • Triclosan, an ingredient in hand sanitizer, may also harm and weaken the immune system. (Read my other blog articles on Triclosan).
  • Because Triclosan can lead to hormonal disruption, it may also cause bacteria to adapt to antimicrobial properties and create bacteria strains that are more antibiotic resistant. If this happens, it could change how hormones work in the body.
  • Hand sanitizer could lead to alcohol poisoning. They are after all made with ethyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol or a mixture of the two in a concentration of 60% to 95% (Fukushima, 2014).  In 2012, several teens were hospitalized for alcohol poisoning from ingesting hand sanitizer.  A couple squirts could be as intoxicating as a couple shots of hard liquor.
  • The U.S. is known for having antibiotics prescribed at alarming rates. Using hand sanitizers may lower ones resistance as well.  In reports from the CDC, those in the health care field who use hand sanitizer over hand washing may be 6 times more likely to be at risk of norovirus.

To read more on this topic, click on the following link:

Fukushima, K. (2014). TheStreet, “5 hidden dangers of hand sanitizers”. Retrieved December 1, 2014, from: http://www.thestreet.com/story/12966410/1/5-hidden-dangers-of-hand-sanitizers.html?puc=yahoo&cm_ven=YAHOO