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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Alcohol Hand Sanitizer Poisoning Doubles on Staten Island, NY

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STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- It's become a common tool in a parent's arsenal against swine flu and the common cold -- a bottle of alcohol hand sanitizer.

   But as an increasing number of parents citywide have learned, it's got an alcohol content higher than most hard liquors.

   Hand sanitizers typically contain 62 percent ethyl alcohol -- the same type of alcohol in beverages, but processed and concentrated differently.

   The city's poison-control centers have seen 25 hand sanitizer ingestion cases over the past month -- more than double the 10 to 12 per month they typically see, according to officials with the city Health Department.

   "Exposure is among children, and generally from hand to mouth," Health Department officials said in an e-mailed statement.


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