Disadvantages of Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizers

Hand sanitizers are everywhere. Perhaps you carry a small bottle with you when you’re on the go, or maybe you use the wall-mounted units found in many public places. Hand sanitizers are now available in sprays, wipes, foams, and gels, and they are typically alcohol based. But did you know that there are disadvantages to alcohol-based hand sanitizers, especially where children are concerned? At SafeSpace, we offer a non-alcohol, disinfectant foam that’s effective at killing 99 percent of common germs on the skin without using alcohol, so you and your family can rest a little easier.

Disadvantages of Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizers

It is important to note that the FDA considers alcohol-based hand sanitizers safe to use in moderation. The problem is that alcohol-based hand sanitizers can lead to dry skin, infection, and even alcohol poisoning. Plus, they have been deemed a fire hazard by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA).

Alcohol Toxicity

Most liquid hand sanitizers contain a large amount of ethyl or isopropyl alcohol. Therefore, they should be stored out of your child’s reach and only used with adult supervision. If ingested, alcohol toxicity can even lead to alcohol poisoning. In fact, from 2011 to 2015, U.S. poison control centers received nearly 85,000 calls about alcohol-based hand sanitizer exposures among children (source).

Studies suggest that children may be more likely to swallow hand sanitizers that are scented, brightly colored, or attractively packaged (source). Older children and adults might even purposefully swallow hand sanitizers to become intoxicated. To avoid ingestion and poisoning, buy hand sanitizers with child-resistant caps, keep the sanitizers out of reach, or simply purchase effective, non-alcohol hand sanitizers from a company you trust.

Dry Skin and Risk of Infection

When used too frequently, alcohol-based hand sanitizers can wash away your skin’s natural oils, which can cause drying and cracking. Dehydrated skin can be unattractive and irritating, and it is likely to cause one or more of the following symptoms:

Dry, cracked cuticles and skin can offer an entry point for germs to enter the body and cause infection. In addition, if you’re prone to eczema, excessive dryness can activate the disease, causing redness, cracking, and inflammation (source).

These complications are most likely to occur when your skin’s normal protective mechanisms are severely compromised. For this reason, we added emollients (topical agents that soften the skin) to our alcohol-free hand sanitizer. The emollients soothe and nourish your skin while the disinfectant rids your hands of germs and bacteria.

Fire Hazard

Most hand sanitizers on the market contain a high volume of alcohol, enough to be considered a fire hazard. In fact, “alcohol-based hand sanitizers are classified as Class I Flammable Liquid substances, which means they have a flashpoint of less than 100 degrees Fahrenheit” (source). OSHA has specific guidelines regarding the storage and use of these flammable liquids:

If you do not follow fire safety measures when using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, the consequences could be dire. Why not use a nonflammable, alcohol-free product instead?

Our Alcohol-Free Hand Sanitizer

If you are looking for a simple, convenient way to protect your health, reach for SafeSpace Instant Hand Sanitizer. This alcohol-free, skin-sanitizing foam is safe for people of all ages and 99 percent effective. It safeguards and soothes the skin, and it comes in a convenient, reusable plastic bottle with an easy-to-use, finger-pump dispenser. To purchase our alcohol-free hand sanitizer, refill bottles, or a combo set, please check out our online store or call us today at 1-800-735-2506.