(AscendHealthy.com) – Even though we depend on hand sanitizers as safeguards against infection and disease, some of them contain dangerous ingredients that might put our health at risk. Does your sanitizer contain toxic chemicals? What can you do to reduce your risk? Learn how to find the answers in the full article below.
Find Out More About Hand Sanitizer Risks.
Some Brands of Sanitizer Contain Methanol
While it’s not in every brand, some brands of sanitizer contain an ingredient called methanol, which may cause health problems. Nine different hand sanitizer brands, all of which are made in Mexico, have high levels of this alcohol. The FDA has issued a warning about the products, asking that people not use them for safety reasons. If you have the brands listed in the FDA warning in your home, you should stop using them to reduce health risks.
Why is Methanol in Hand Sanitizer a Problem?
Methanol can be very toxic and may cause significant health issues. While most of those issues will resolve on their own, more serious and long-term problems might also appear. In some of the sanitizer brands the FDA is warning about, there may be up to 81% methanol, also known as wood alcohol.
Methanol may cause the skin to dehydrate and lead to dermatitis in the area where it was used, but the more dangerous problem is that it’s absorbed through the skin and the lungs into the bloodstream. Over time, methanol levels may become toxic in the body and might create lasting health issues.
What Are the Symptoms of Methanol Poisoning?
In addition to the localized dermatitis that methanol can create, the CDC says that methanol poisoning can cause nausea, dizziness, vomiting, visual disturbances, headaches, weakness and a loss of consciousness. In more severe cases, it can lead to blindness and even death.
While anyone can be affected by methanol, children are most at risk because they’re smaller and have less skin area and lung capacity. That might result in a higher percentage of methanol in their systems when they use products that contain it. Methanol fumes are flammable, as well, which presents an additional danger.
How to Choose Safe Brands of Sanitizer
Product labels might be your greatest ally when it comes to choosing safe brands of sanitizer. It’s important to choose an option that doesn’t contain methanol. Beware of products that contain wood alcohol, methyl alcohol, or carbinol, which are just different names for the same product, according to the CDC.
If you’re in doubt, consider choosing brands you recognize, and be sure to look at the ingredient labels if you’re buying an unfamiliar brand. The active ingredient in an effective hand sanitizer should always be ethyl alcohol (also known as ethanol) or propyl alcohol (also known as propanol or rubbing alcohol).
If you think you’ve been exposed to one of the dangerous brands of sanitizers or if you’re experiencing symptoms that might be related to methanol exposure, there is an FDA Adverse Events program you can report it to. You should also check with your healthcare provider to ask questions and seek treatment as needed. By reading labels or buying only name brand, familiar hand sanitizer, you might greatly reduce the risk of coming into contact with methanol or suffering its effects.
~Here’s to Your Healthy Ascension
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