National center for infection control professionals, healthcare experts, manufacturers, distributors, suppliers and consumers focused on best practices in hand hygiene and hand sanitizer products

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Lie Or Legit?? Alcohol Hand Sanitizer Poisoning

Extracted from CBS News Channel 21 (Harrisburg PA) March 11 2009 report profiling email messages circulating around the internet describing incidences in which children have gotten sick from ingesting alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

Reporter Mike Parker says:
"...We contacted Dr. J. Ward Donovan, Medical Director for the Toxicology Center at PinnacleHealth's Harrisburg Hospital to get his opinion on whether these stories are "lies" or whether they are "legit"

In an email response, Dr. Donovan writes:

"...[alcohol] hand sanitizers can cause alcohol intoxication if enough is ingested. In a hypothetical 44 pound 5 year old, it would take about 30 ml (1 ounce, or 6 teaspoons) to cause intoxication at a level exceeding the legal driving limit of 0.80%. The symptoms would be lethargy, vomiting, and staggering gait, as in any case of alcohol intoxication. Coma and respiratory depression could occur with larger ingestions such as 3 ounces in a child."

Based on the doctor's response, we're going to call this one "Legit."

A child could be poisoned by ingesting hand sanitizer.

Bottom line? Educate your children about the potential dangers of hand sanitizers, and supervise usage.

And we say, don't think twice--go with an alcohol-free hand sanitizer. We like Soapopular, as well as Hy5. There are others...but these meet our budget needs!

No comments: