Is Hand Sanitizer Poisonous to Kids and Pets?

Is Hand Sanitizer Poisonous to Kids and Pets?

Have you ever asked yourself “Is hand sanitizer poisonous?”? Well, we sure hope so, because not all hand sanitizers are made equal.

In premise, hand sanitizer is safe for its original purpose, however, swallowing and using it for other purposes can lead to serious health concerns. But, there are other hand sanitizers that are quite toxic, so keep that in mind.

Hand Sanitizer Effects on Children and Pets

For the purpose of improving your safety, we will cover everything you need to know about hand sanitizers in this article.

So keep reading to learn more and secure your wellbeing.

What Is Hand Sanitizer?

The majority of hand sanitizers come in a gel and liquid form, they are made with isopropyl alcohol or ethanol. In addition to that, they are mixed with other agents, such as glycol to prevent skin drying as well as changing the color or smell.

The alcohol content is variable but should be over 60% as per the FDA standards. This same context of alcohol content increases the flammability of the substance.

Some say that isopropyl alcohol was invented, or discovered in the 1300s. However, most believe the true data to be in the 1800s. In any case, that does not matter. What matters is your safety, and for that we need to keep going.

Fun Fact: isopropyl alcohol is made with propane, which is derivative from natural gas, petroleum, and other fossil fuels.

How Is It Made?

The creation of a hand sanitizer comes from a process of liquid blending. The ingredients are easily mixed, thus making the process of creation seamless.

Mixing tanks with impellers and baffles are used. They help maintain appropriate viscosity during the process. Isopropyl alcohol is made with water and propane, as well as methods of distillation which help remove unnecessary compounds.

However, there are many other hand sanitizer ingredients that can be harmful and toxic to humans, as well as pets. So don't just buy the first-hand sanitizer you see. Be careful and considerate, without this you place yourself and others in harm's way.

Is Hand Sanitizer Poisonous?

When it comes to alcohol, there are so many types of it, that it quickly gets confusing. For instance, only ethyl and isopropyl alcohol are acceptable for hand sanitizer.

Other types, such as 1-propanol and methanol should not be used as they are toxic to people. Many of the recent FDA safety tests have noted concerning levels of these alcohols in many hand sanitizers.

Methanol is known as wood alcohol, it's used for antifreeze as well as rocket fuel. Methanol should never be swallowed or rubbed on the skin. Drinking sanitizer with methanol will lead to serious health issues, such as blindness, and even worse death.

1-propanol is used in the creation of industrial solvents, it's also very toxic to humans. Swallowing hand sanitizer with 1-propanol will result in depleted heart rate and breathing, as well as potential death. Hand sanitizer with this ingredient will irritate the skin.

So is hand sanitizer poisonous? You decide. To make it easy for you, it certainly can be. Therefore, you need to be cautious.

Never Swallow Sanitizer

As another word of warning, you should never drink hand sanitizer because it will result in poisoning by alcohol. Children are at an even greater risk of this happening, and because of their body mass will experience more severe side-effects.

It's impossible to see if sanitizer is contaminated with toxic alcohol. Therefore, it's best to not allow your children access to sanitizer in the first place. Alcohol poisoning can happen from all alcohol. Read more here.

If someone has swallowed hand sanitizer, call 1-800-222-1222 immediately to get help from Poison Control.

In many cases, the ingredients are not listed on the hand sanitizer. If either is listed, which is rare, you should discontinue the use of that sanitizer and dispose of it as soon as possible.

FDA has recognized that most hand sanitizers have had low levels of active ingredients, which means the sanitizers were not as effective. Alcohol-based sanitizers should have at least 60% concentration.

To determine if your hand sanitizer is on the do-not-use list, keep reading.

The Do-Not-Use List

Before you buy hand sanitizer or make use of the one you have, it's recommended that you check yours on the Do-Not-Use list issued by the FDA.

This list is regularly updated, so don't think that the information is irrelevant.

Start by visiting the hand sanitizer list website. Next, scroll all the way down until you reach the search box.

Make use of one of the following to filter through the database:

  1. Brand name
  2. Manufacturer
  3. Distributor name
  4. National Drug Code Number

Some of these might not be included in the product, which is a concern in itself. However, it does not constitute bad product quality. If your product does appear on the database, discontinue use immediately.

If it's not listed, contact the distributor and ask them some questions. If they refuse to accommodate your concerns, the FDA advises against using their products.

Sanitizer Safety

Now that you know the answer to the question of “Is hand sanitizer poisonous?”, you are well on your way to ensure that you disinfect, as well as protect yourself and your family from the harmful effects of contaminated sanitizer.

As long as you input considerable effort into learning about the product that you have, as well as removing access from sensitive groups (children), you will ensure that everybody is safe and sound.

If you're interested in similar articles, feel free to check out our health categories.

Funny Sanitizer Cartoon

• Meet the Author • Dr. Lawrence Kindo


I am a Medical Professional with a passion for writing, blogging, playing, computers, and of course patient care. My writing in this medical blog will reflect my passion, and you are welcome to be a part of this venture. This medical blog is a tribute to all the great medical pioneers, and to the ultimate source of wisdom, God.


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