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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Hand Sanitizers Causing a Buzz-

From Kentucky news station WBKO:

"...WBKO contacted the makers of both "Purell" and "Dial" hand sanitizers and received no response regarding the alcohol in their product. Spiller said warning signs someone may be abusing hand sanitizer are bottles that suddenly go missing or become empty.

So far, Spiller said they've had several hundred calls here in Ky. about people drinking sanitizer, but in only one case did a person exhibit symptoms of intoxication.

"....the concern over intoxication from alcohol-based hand sanitizer is very real.

F.O. Moxley Community Center Assistant, Jeff Young, said when the kids at the summer fun camp get their hands dirty, they don't turn to hand sanitizer.

"Basically, we just use our first preventative methods and that's good old soap and water," Young said.

So, camp officials aren't worried about any of their campers getting intoxicated from using the hand cleanser.

Henry Spiller of the Ky. Regional Poison Control Center said you can get drunk by consuming large amounts of hand sanitizer because most sanitizers contain ethyl alcohol, or ethanol.

"It's the same type of alcohol you find in a beer or a bottle of wine. The only difference is that there's more alcohol in hand sanitizers than in an alcoholic beverage," Spiller explained.

According to, most beers are only five-percent alcohol. Wine tops out at about twelve-percent. However, a nearly seven-ounce bottle of hand sanitizer contains 62-percent alcohol. That means a child around two or three-years-old could easily be affected.

"It wouldn't take them a large amount. Maybe a one-ounce container would contain enough for a very small child," Spiller assured.

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