The use of hand sanitizers (hand sanitizers) seems to be often misused for drinking. Instead of being used to clean hands, some people actually consume hand sanitizers directly. With a cheap and easy to get price, the hand sanitizer is finally glimpsed as an alternative to alcoholic beverages. What are the dangers when someone drinks a hand sanitizer? Can it cause death? See the following explanation.
Misuse of hand sanitizers to get drunk
Hand sanitizers are not intended for consumption. This hand sanitizer can only be used outside the body, which is for the skin. However, some people abuse hand sanitizers because they are considered to have an intoxicating effect such as drinking liquor.
Instead of being intoxicating, the high alcohol content found in most hand sanitizers actually poses a dangerous risk if used inappropriately. This abuse is apparently nothing new. Quoted from the New York Times, in 2015 there were more than a thousand people who were accidentally drinking hand sanitizers. Two of them reportedly died.
Even worse, most victims who drink hand sanitizer are small children and teenagers who are still prohibited from buying alcoholic beverages. Therefore, they also choose a hand sanitizer that is easier to get and the alcohol content is much higher than beer or other alcoholic drinks.
Alcohol in the hand sanitizer
Hand sanitizers generally contain ethanol alcohol which has been mixed in the form of a gel. Many hand sanitizer producers claim their products are effective at killing 99.9 percent of germs in the hand.
You should also know, to kill various bacteria and viruses, these cleaning products contain at least 60 to 70 percent alcohol. There are even some brands that use alcohol active ingredients up to 90 percent.
Try to compare with a bottle of beer that contains only 5 percent alcohol or liquor like wine that contains 12 percent alcohol. The difference is far, isn't it? Not to mention, the type of alcohol used to mix hand sanitizers is far more dangerous than alcohol in liquor.
When you drink only 44 milliliters of hand sanitizer (almost a small bottle), the effect is many times more dangerous than the effect of a glass of alcoholic drink. In the body, alcohol affects the nervous system, creates a more relaxed sensation of the mind, and blunts the brain's ability to think clearly.
Danger of drinking hand sanitizer
Inadvertently consuming small amounts of hand sanitizer, for example because you lick your hands after using a hand sanitizer, generally does not cause any side effects. However, if you drink enough, side effects that can arise are nausea and vomiting.
Whereas if someone does deliberately consume a hand sanitizer to get drunk, the risk is alcohol poisoning. Signs of alcohol poisoning in the hand sanitizer can be dizzy and rambling is not clear.
According to Alexander Garrard, a toxicology expert who served as director of the Washington Poison Center in the United States, getting drunk with hand sanitizers is very dangerous. Apart from severe poisoning, drinking hand sanitizers can cause respiratory problems, loss of consciousness (fainting), coma, and death.
This risk will increase if the hand sanitizer is consumed by teenagers or children. This is because the liver of children is not as perfect as in adults. The ability of the liver to filter and dispose of poisons that enter the body is still limited. As a result, the chemicals and alcohol in the hand sanitizer consumed will be absorbed by the body instead of being thrown away.
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