Look Out For These Bad Ingredients When Choosing Hand Sanitizer
The outbreak of Covid-19 saw a massive rise in the demand of hand sanitizers even though the various health authorities stated that using regular soap and water was quite as effective. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) only recommends using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (with an ethanol content of at least 60%), if soap and water are unavailable. This means soap and water should be the first choice. However, we know you can’t go about carrying soap and water everywhere we go, like a compact hand sanitizer allows.
Because of the spike in the consumer demands for hand sanitizers, there were shortages in the availability of hand sanitizers. This forced a lot of people to attempt producing hand sanitizers at home. It also created an avenue for new companies to start manufacturing these products. While some companies were honest and diligently used approved ingredients in their right proportions, some manufacturers decided to exploit the panic caused by the pandemic. These bad actors produced hand sanitizers that were either substandard (containing the active ingredients in less than the appropriate quantities) or outright toxic (using similar but dangerous chemicals for manufacturing the product).
Thankfully, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) created a do-not-use list for hand sanitizers. The products on this list are contaminated with harmful types of alcohol, contain less than the recommended amount of active ingredients, or have misleading labels on the product’s package. Currently, over 150 hand sanitizers are on this growing list.
Different types of alcohol exist, but there are only two types that are acceptable in hand sanitizers. The first one is known as ethyl alcohol – commonly known as ethanol or alcohol. The second is isopropyl alcohol – commonly called isopropanol or 2-propanol.
So what are the harmful ingredients you should look out for when you want to select a hand sanitizer?
Apart from the two mentioned earlier, other types of alcohol are not acceptable due to their toxic nature in humans. The most recent FDA tests discovered two potentially harmful types of alcohol that are being used in hand sanitizers. The first is methyl (also known as methanol or wood alcohol) while the second one is 1-propyl (or 1-propanol).
How bad is methanol for humans?
Methyl alcohol (or wood alcohol) is what is used in making antifreeze and rocket fuel. It is a highly toxic form of alcohol, and it should not be rubbed on the skin or ingested. When swallowed, wood alcohol can lead to headaches, nausea, coma, seizures, permanent blindness or death. If you visit the CDC website, you can find more information about individuals who lost their lives or their eyesight permanently as a result of ingesting hand sanitizers containing methyl.
How dangerous is 1-Propanol?
1-Propyl alcohol is the major substance used in making industrial cleaning chemicals and can be dangerous to humans when ingested. Severe symptoms, such as breathing difficulty and decreased heart rate occur in people who drink a hand sanitizer contaminated with 1-propanol. This alcohol type also causes death when swallowed. If your skin or eyes are exposed to this alcohol, it can cause irritation. The FDA reports that a few people have even complained of having allergic skin reactions after a hand sanitizer with 1-propanol came in contact with their skin.
How can you protect yourself from these bad ingredients?
Always the check the label:
You should know that a vast majority of hand sanitizers made using these potentially dangerous alcohol types do not usually list these harmful ingredients on the label. However, if you see names like methanol, wood alcohol, methyl alcohol, 1-propyl alcohol, or 1-propanol on any hand sanitizer’s label, do not buy it.
If you already have one of such, please stop using it immediately, and trash it. And by trash, we do not mean putting it in just any trash container; instead, you should dispose of it in a hazardous waste container. Also know that wood alcohol is a very flammable substance, so don’t put it near any fire.
Do not ingest hand sanitizers:
Hand sanitizers should never be swallowed because it can lead to alcohol poisoning. You cannot know if a hand sanitizer contains these hazardous types of alcohols just by looking at it or even smelling it, so don’t attempt to drink it. Also, alcohol poisoning (either from acceptable or toxic types) can lead to health complications or even death.
Some hand sanitizers have packaging that makes them look like sweet drinks, and this has caused many children to ingest them accidentally. Kindly warn all kids and teenagers about the dangers of swallowing hand sanitizers.
Please call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222 or 911 immediately you find out anyone has swallowed hand sanitizer.
Keep hand sanitizers out of the reach of pets:
Do not use hand sanitizers on the skin or paws of pets, and you should never allow them to swallow it. If it gets on your pet’s skin or it is mistakenly consumed, it can lead to alcohol poisoning, health complications, or the animal may die. Please call your vet or any poison control center for animals immediately you discover a pet has ingested hand sanitizer or it contacts their skin.
Check the FDA do-not-use list for info:
Endeavor to check the FDA do-not-use list from time to time so that you can be in the know regarding newly discovered toxic ingredients used in hand sanitizers. Check to see if any hand sanitizer you want to purchase is on that list before buying it.
Your Safety. Our Priority.
At Ziba Beauty, we cherish your health and we hope that we will soon get rid of the Coronavirus. In the meantime, try to use soap and water as much as possible in cleaning your hands. Only when you can’t access soap and water should you use hand sanitizers.
And please make sure that the hand sanitizer you use contains ethanol or isopropanol in adequate proportions – any other types of alcohol, including methanol and 1-propanol are red flags. Also, do not swallow any hand sanitizer and do not use it on pets.
Call 911 or Poison Control immediately if someone swallows any type of hand sanitizer. Finally, avoid any hand-sanitizing product that claims to prevent the spread of the virus or can give you 24-hour protection – those are big lies!