Is Hand Sanitizer Toxic?

Amira Novitzke, Reporter

Coming right along behind cough medicine, hand sanitizer is the latest household product used to get intoxicated. Only a few squirts of hand sanitizer could equal a few shots of hard liquor which has public health officials worried.
In California, multiple teenagers were hospitalized with alcohol poisoning, and a few from drinking hand sanitizer. About 2,600 cases have been reported in California alone, but it is now a national problem.
Liquid hand sanitizer is 62 to 65 ethyl alcohol, which is the main ingredient in wine, beer, and spirits. Doctors say drinking it causes the same side effects as consuming large amounts of alcohol including slurred speech, unresponsiveness, and possibly falling into a coma. Alcohol poisoning can also cause confusion, vomiting, and drowsiness in kids who consume the liquid. Consuming hand sanitizer over a long-term use could lead to brain, liver, and kidney damage as well.
Since 2010, poison control center hotlines across the U.S. have seen a 400% increase in calls related to children younger than twelve consuming hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizers that smell good, like strawberry, grape, and orange are the ones that appeal most to children.
Now doctors caution parents to treat hand sanitizer like you would any other medication at home. This includes keeping it out of sight, reach, and out of mind when to not use it.

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