Hand sanitizer dangers are many and caution needs to be taken when using those that contain alcohol and triclosan.
In a small 2 oz. bottle, they can contain up to 62% ethyl alcohol (or ethanol) or the equivalent to 4 shots of vodka. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers should always be out of the reach of young children. In addition to being unsafe for children, alcohol causes your hands to dry out that may lead to cracking and bleeding.
Other sanitizers can contain triclosan. This chemical is a preservative and germ killer that has been found to cause allergies, asthma and eczema. In animal studies, triclosan is known as a endocrine disruptor and is toxic to normal liver enzymes. Greenpeace International and Britain’s World Wifeline Fund found this chemical in collected umbilical cord samples. Sweden’s survey identified triclosan in the breast milk of 60 percent of women tested.
Triclosan is found in 76 percent of liquid soaps and 26 percent of bar soaps in the USA. It was frequently detected in a survey of streams in 30 states conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey. Using products like soap and toothpaste with this chemical, cause it to end up in streams, lakes and oceans, polluting the water and harming aquatic animals.
Washing your hands with soap and water is always the safest and best practice to get rid of germs. Hand sanitizer is the next best option and there are safer sanitizers available. A study conducted by Harry G. Preuss, MD, MACN, CNS, professor of physiology and biophysics (Georgetown) found oregano oil (Origanum Vulgare), at low doses, to inhibit the growth of staphylococcus bacteria in the test tubes as effectively as antibiotics did. Many natural hand sanitizers use oregano oil to sanitize hands effectively.
Hand sanitizer dangers can be avoided by choosing products that are safer for you and cleaner for the environment. Look for chemical free, all natural options to keep you and your family as germ free as possible.