Children Safety and the Risks of Alcohol Based Sanitisers

women applying hand sanitiser

The pandemic has changed the way society views hygiene, with the use of chemical sanitisers on the rise. With this new behaviour, a new set of challenges have been created from the overuse of these harmful chemicals. One major area of concern is the misuse of alcohol-based sanitisers. While high levels alcohol in sanitisers are effective for killing 99.99% of germs and bacteria, these levels of the harsh chemical can be harmful to the skin and worse if ingested. Although hand sanitiser is meant to be applied topically and with caution, according to the National Poison Data System there has been a sharp increase in unintentional poisonings due to the ingestion and overuse hand sanitizers, disinfectants and household cleaners, with children being the main victims. 

Children are explorers by nature and mums want to keep their kids safe by making sure they are clean and not exposed to germs. But there are risks of children misusing alcohol-based sanitisers when unmonitored.  Hand sanitisers typically contain ethyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol or benzalkonium alcohol. Ethyl alcohol hand sanitizers contain 60–65% ethanol. This is a very high alcohol content, which can lead to alcohol poisoning. Since hand sanitiser has a high alcohol content, and is cheap, easy to purchase and has no age limit for purchase, it has become a popular choice for teens experimenting with substance abuse. Teens may intentionally ingest large quantities of hand sanitiser, which can lead to serious medical outcomes including alcohol poisoning and death. 

As we continue to navigate the new normal where personal hygiene will continue to take a more active role in our lives, more innovative, effective and free from harmful chemical sanitising solutions need to be made readily available. 

Make the switch to non-alcohol-based sanitisers like SpectriMIST that contains 0% alcohol and is 99.99996% effective at killing bacteria and viruses. Stay Safe, Choose Alcohol-Free.



Writer and expert