Hand sanitizers can be dangerous to your health.

Most of us do not read the ingredients labels on the foods and personal care products that we buy. We never had a reason to look. Obviously, some entity reviewed and approved the ingredients before it was available for human consumption or use.

Some excuses are – too many long words are a problem – we do not know what they mean – the print is too small is another problem. You also must hold the label the right way to interpret the label because of the font color contrast with the background color.

I have been reading labels for years. Chemistry was my first love – before I started dating. I loved it so much I earned a degree in it. I did not get to become a chemist because I got an invitation to Vietnam and that changed my career path.

Labels are supposed to protect us. They are mandated for certain industries. Europe is far ahead of the United States in banning toxins in foods and personal care products.

Hundreds of chemicals are banned in Europe are not banned in the United States. Companies will manufacture to European standards and comply with the toxin restrictions and will use some of those same European-banned toxin chemicals in products sold in the United States.

1-propanol is a toxin linked to central nervous system disorders. If a person ingests this hand sanitizer (think of kids licking it off their hands), it can be life-threatening. Symptoms associated with 1-propanol are decreased consciousness, slowed pulse, and breathing difficulties.

Confusion, as well as decreased consciousness, slowed pulse and breathing are common symptoms of 1-propanol exposure, per the agency, which noted that animal studies have indicated that the central nervous system depressant effects of 1-propanol “are 2 to 4 times as potent as alcohol (ethanol).”

The label might say isopropyl alcohol and be incorrectly labeled. Tests done by the FDA show that 1-propanol is a banned substance for inclusion in hand sanitizers.

Harmonic Nature S de RL de MI in Mexico produces hand sanitizers with 1-propanol. This product is now on the FDA’s list of over 100 hand sanitizers considered to be unsafe for human use. A hand sanitizer is supposed to have a minimum of 60% alcohol to be effective in killing the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

I worked for a company that bought small, prepackaged bottles containing only water and alcohol to clean CDs. Water and alcohol should blend together nicely. However, they do not.

We tested these bottles (with our company’s name on them) and found that instead of 50% water and 50% alcohol, the mixtures were all over the board. Water and alcohol and thought to be miscible – mixing in equal proportions.

Equal amounts of water and alcohol are expected to mix evenly. The method used by the vendor did not allow enough time for equilibrium to happen resulting in bottles that did not contain a 50/50 mixture of alcohol and water.  Selling a product for human use has a higher level of compliance compared to selling a product to use on a CD.

Check the FDA list of banned hand sanitizers – https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-and-availability/fda-updates-hand-sanitizers-consumers-should-not-use. Dispose of any of those products in a hazardous waste container. Do not flush down the sink or throw away in a trash can.

There are over 100 banned hand sanitizers on the market. I do not use hand sanitizers. I prefer soap and water. It seems I have washed my hands more in the past five months than I have in the past five years.

If you feel compelled to use a hand sanitizer, use one without alcohol. Continuous use of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer can create skin issues – microcracks in your skin that can lead to health issues.

Occasional use of hand sanitizers might not be the problem – use in moderation – but, using it more often can be a problem.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com


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