HAND SANITIZER SAFETY
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the hand sanitizer business to boom. The need to have a way of sanitizing hands when soap is not available has been critical in trying to reduce the spread of this deadly virus. Unfortunately, the well-known companies that produced hand sanitizer in the past could not keep up with worldwide demand. This has caused many companies to jump into the business of making hand sanitizer. But is it really safe?
According to numbers from the National Poison Data System, there has been a dramatic increase in calls to poison control centers across the U.S.A. These centers have seen a 59% spike in poisonings from hand sanitizer. What is even more concerning is that an overwhelming majority of the incidents were happening in children. As a result, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and FDA (Food and Drug Administration) started investigating the cause. This led to recall warnings for more than 75 brands of hand sanitizer including some sold at Sam’s Club, Walmart and BJ’s Wholesale Club. The danger from these hand sanitizers is due to a harmful ingredient called methanol. Methanol is a wood alcohol and can be toxic if ingested or absorbed through the skin. It should never be used in hand sanitizers. Instead, the two safe alcohols for hand sanitizer are ethanol (ethyl alcohol) and isopropanol (isopropyl alcohol).
But get this, a lot of these harmful brands list ethanol as the main ingredient. But when tested, it was confirmed that the product really contained methanol. This is very dangerous. Some of the side effects of methanol poisoning are nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headaches, weakness, vision loss and even death. To check the list of recalled hand sanitizers, go to https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-and-availability/fda-updates-hand-sanitizers-methanol.
So, how do you know if a hand sanitizer is safe? The bottom line is to trust the source. Yes! Trust the source because even the listed ingredients can be deceiving. Also, brands claiming to be FDA-approved may not really be so. I am proud to be the master product developer for Salt Me!. As a board-certified surgeon, safety is very important to me and this shows through the quality products offered by my company. As an essential frontline worker during the COVID-19 pandemic, I knew how important it was for everyone to have access to hand sanitizer. I decided to formulate a safe and effective product to help lessen the burden of the demand shortfalls. Our hand sanitizer is made with simple ingredients including isopropyl alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, glycerin, distilled water and lemongrass essential oil (unscented version also available). The formula specifications meet the WHO (World Health Organization) recommendations for volume of alcohol making our version tough on germs but gentle on hands.
Hand washing with soap and water is the absolute best way to prevent the spread of infections. But when you can’t wash your hands, using a dependable and safe hand sanitizer is the next best option. Consider making our alcohol-based Salt Me! Hand Sanitizer a part of your daily regimen to fight the spread of germs.