Hand sanitizers, that small bottle that advertises itself to kill 99.9 percent of bacteria on your hands with just a few drops.
They’re everywhere these days, and chances are, you might be one of the people who always keep a handy bottle in their purse or bag.
If not, then you may know someone who does, who habitually gives it a squeeze after doing anything that involves them using their hands.
You might think it’s a bit crazy but you also understand that keeping yourself healthy by beating germs and bacteria is better than doing nothing. But do you know that there’s more to these hand sanitizers than meets the eye?
The Dirty Truth
The truth is, hand sanitizers aren’t as safe as we initially thought they are and here are some things you should know about them:
They contain rubbing alcohol as its active bactericidal ingredient. This can lead to dry skin. Furthermore, for the alcohol to work, the concentration on the bottle needs to be 60 percent above. Anything below that number is already a risk that you shouldn’t take.
They contain triclosan . When these hand sanitizers don’t use alcohol, they use triclosan that had been shown to not only contribute to the development of bacterial resistance but also increase the amount of bisphenol-A you absorb, which is an endocrine-disrupting chemical that can affect your health. It’s also an active ingredient in pesticides and has been touted as an agent that can cause the formation of antibiotic resistant bacteria.
Not safe for kids. Reading the fine print behind any bottle (if there is) should reveal this already since they are incredibly toxic if ingested not just by kids but also adults.
Not totally safe. Hand sanitizers usually have an ingredient called Benzalkonium Chloride that does damage to our cells as much as it does the microbes and bacteria in our skin. Some studies also state that it can aggravate any allergic reactions.
They may save you a trip to the bathroom due to their convenience but when it comes to cleaning your hand, mild soap with warm water should still work best. Still, using them in moderation should work just as fine.
Compiled by Olalekan Adeleye