As if the virus was not enough, people have started dying by drinking hand sanitizer. A number of cases have been reported in recent times, where people were rushed to the hospital after they ingested hand sanitizer. A number of fatalities have also been reported in such cases. Worst still, some have undergone permanent organ damage or lost their eyesight.
What’s the difference between drinking alcohol and hand sanitizer?
There are many reasons why people are ending up drinking hand sanitizer. One of the primary reasons is lack of awareness. Most people think that all alcohol is the same. However, this is far from true. The alcohol used in products like beer, wine, whiskey, vodka, etc. is called ethanol alcohol. Ethanol alcohol is derived from grains and other food items. Also, it is tested in lab to ensure that it does not contain any toxic chemicals. So, ethanol alcohol in alcoholic drinks is safe to consume for humans.
On the other hand, hand sanitizers are usually made from isopropyl alcohol. It is also referred to as rubbing alcohol. The structure of isopropyl alcohol is similar to ethanol. But there are chemical variations, which make isopropyl alcohol toxic. It is meant for use as a disinfectant and cleanser and not for consumption. It will give you a high, but it will also make you sick. Based on the amount you consume, isopropyl alcohol can cause serious health issues. As mentioned earlier, people have lost their lives after consuming hand sanitizer.
Hand sanitizers have other chemicals
People need to understand that hand sanitizers also contain other additives such as perfume, synthetic color, anti-bacterial formulations and hydrogen peroxide. These are safe when used on the hand. But when you consume such chemicals, it can create serious health issues. So, it’s not just the alcohol in hand sanitizer that can get you in trouble.
What to do if you accidently consume hand sanitizer?
Most reported cases of hand sanitizer poisoning involved people who used the sanitizer as an alternative for regular alcoholic drinks. Misuse of hand sanitizer has also been reported among teens.
There have also been cases where people have consumed hand sanitizer accidently. In such situations, the amount of sanitizer consumed is likely to be less. May be a mouthful before one realizes their mistake. Such things can also happen with young kids. In such situations, it’s always better to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Do not try to treat yourself or delay going to the hospital.
Hand sanitizer has played a key role in preventing the spread of Covid-19. Unfortunately, some uninformed people have lost their lives believing that it is the same as liquor. It is important to understand that hand sanitizer is for external use only and not for consumption.