Can you die from drinking hand sanitizer? Can you get sick? What should you do? Read on to find out.
It’s a no-brainer to never drink hand sanitizers. It’s quite forgiving if it’s an uncontrolled child who accidentally drank it. But for adults who know how to read the label on the bottle which says “for external use only”, this is unforgiving.
Some people may be thinking that if alcohol-based hand sanitizer kills viruses, perhaps drinking it protects them from the Coronavirus. The same area of thought goes for those who think drinking ethanol or isopropyl can cleanse away the virus from their bodies.
This is totally false. Drinking hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol can only get you sick, or even worse, die from alcohol overdose.
Because of this misconception, over 300 Iranians died after drinking methanol, thinking it would rid the Coronavirus.
Thank goodness hand sanitizers are less lethal than methanol and can most likely only get you intoxicated. But that doesn’t mean you can be careless about leaving the bottle near children as it can be more serious for them.
The only type of antibacterial hand gel which is not that lethal is a 100% pure Ethyl alcohol spray, but that is a rare product.
Alcohol-based hand sanitizers contain 60% to 98% alcohol. 60% or above ethanol or 90 to 99.8% Isopropyl. They also contain inactive ingredients such as fragrance, glycerin, propylene glycol, carbomer, benzophenone-4 and tocopheryl acetate.
Propylene glycol, contained in most alcohol, is not toxic but it can affect the nervous system.. The type of Fragrance used can be toxic. Some of the other ingredients are not toxic, but others can be problematic.
Drinking hand sanitizers is like drinking a straight vodka (120-proof liquor). The isopropyl alcohol can cause intoxication, blurred vision, dizziness and slurred speech.
There are many possible effects depending on how your body reacts to the chemicals. It can affect the nervous system or internal organs negatively. It may also cause blindness, kidney failure, liver or brain damage or death.
The bottom line is, if someone drinks hand sanitizer, it results in a serious risk of overdosing from alcohol because of the high alcohol content.
Yes, drinking hand sanitizer can get you drunk. A 240 mL bottle of hand sanitizer has the same volume as 5 shots of strong liquor.
The first thing you’ll feel is being drunk because of the high alcohol content. The next thing is you can vomit or experience the ones mentioned above.
There are many reported cases of children licking or engulfing hand sanitizers by accident. If this happens, you need to take the child to a clinic or hospital.
But since it is difficult to get into a hospital especially because of the outbreak, you can try to give the child sweets or sugary drinks. This is to increase their blood sugar as consuming hand sanitizers can cause seizures or lead to coma.
It is better if the child vomits right after drinking the hand sanitizer as this is the normal body reaction to unfamiliar chemicals in the body. If, however the situation gets worse, like extreme abdominal pain, respiratory problems and irritation, the child needs medical attention right away. You can also contact poison control to help you in these situations.
Hand sanitizers are the backup solution to disinfecting the hands when there’s no water and soap available at hand. There were many alarming issues going over the internet about ingestion of alcohol and alcohol-based products because of people’s fears about contracting COVID-19.
Now you know that it is not good to drink hand sanitizers and it’s best to keep it away from the reach of children.