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Thursday, February 7, 2008

School Nurses :Reach Out for Alcohol-Free hand sanitizer

From Nurse News blog:
"..Children are especially susceptible to the symptoms of alcohol poisoning, i.e., altered level of consciousness, slow respirations, cold, clammy, pale or bluish skin, and the presence of alcohol on the breath. Because hand sanitizers are often left where chidren can easily access them, it’s important to remember they are not packaged in child-proof containers. They are often scented and colored, which make them more appealing to young children.

Suggestions for keeping your child safe:

*Keep hand sanitizers out of sight and reach as you would prescription drugs.
*Always supervise children when using this product.
*Look for new alcohol-free hand sanitizers.
*Use soap and water when possible.


Marc Thibault said...

True, alcohol based hand sanitizers are not suited for kids but Benzalkonium Chloride is a chemical from the quaternary ammonium group and can trigger asthma and dermatitis. That is what scientific studies suggest when looking at health care workers and janitors' prolonged or repeated exposure to this compound. Why not looking at all natural alcohol free hand sanitizers and antimicrobial handsoap? However, the best solution is probably to teach kids how and when to wash their hands.
Take a look at my posts on this topic @

Berky said...

Actually, the studies you reference were based on the use of quats within cosmetic products--not hand sanitizing products--which are not intended to be inhaled in any quantity.--and your references seem to be based on Gojo Industries research. As you know, they are the leading brand i.e. alcohol-based products--and one can presume they have an agenda.
Their 2003 letter to the FDA says:

"..The efficacy of quaternary ammonium compounds may be severely compromised during formulation and use. Benzalkonium chloride and benzethonium chloride may be neutralized by anionic or nonionic surfactants, hard water, proteins and other moieties. Special expertise is required when formulating to avoid neutralization of these the quatactive ingredients s and to carefully balance the need for fast, broad spectrum antimicrobial activity with low irritation..."

."...Although these studies are mainly laboratory evaluations, many key thought leaders have begun to express concern over these findings. .. No studies have been published to date exploring the short or long term impact of the use of benzalkonium chloride and benzethonium chloride on the ecology of the skin flora and the resistance profiles of its members. "

Also worth pointing out--Johnson & Johnson--the license for Purell, stands by Gojo's pounding of BAC--yet Johnson & Johnson aggressively markets and promotes its BandAid brand foaming antispetic; its active ingredient is .13 concentration of benzalkonium chloride.