Excessive use of sanitizer can prove to be fatal. Experts from the Mayo Clinic have warned that excessive use of sanitizer can lead to loss of eyesight and death. Children are at the greatest risk of this. The toxic chemicals present in the sanitizer can reach the body of children through the skin.
Know the reason why this is so
- There are three types of alcohol used in hand sanitizer. One of these is methanol. Excessive use of it can cause permanent loss of eyesight or even death.
- The manufacturing of hand sanitizers containing methanol has been banned in the US. Ethanol and isopropanol are considered to be safer alternatives to methanol. At the same time, methanol is present in the sanitizer being used in many countries.
- By reaching the body through the skin of children, methanol has a bad effect on health in the long run. Doctors say, use hand sanitizer only when it is really needed. Instead of using it daily, use it occasionally, that too in small quantities.
Shocking cases in Mexico and Arizona
Mayo Clinic infectious disease specialist Dr. Gregory Poland says that if children use sanitizer more, their skin absorbs methanol. Last year, the US health agency CDC found 15 cases of methanol poisoning in Mexico and Arizona. In all these cases hand sanitizer was overused.
Of the 15 cases, 4 had died. 3 people had lost their eyesight. Experts say, avoid overuse of hand sanitizer.
Understand how it reaches the body through the skin
Our skin is like a wall of bricks, says Dr. Abigail Waldman, a dermatologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Hand sanitizer protects us from viruses, but sometimes it gives clues in the same brick wall. In this way, it reaches the body. Due to the high alcohol content, it can also cause skin allergies.
According to experts, bacteria develop resistance on excessive use of sanitizer, as a result, it proves to be ineffective on them. If you are at home or in the bathroom, wash your hands with soap and water instead of hand sanitizer. Soap removes the stickiness from the hands, so the virus does not survive on the skin.
Increasing use of sanitizer
People in America have bought hand sanitizer in large quantities since the beginning of the epidemic. According to a Boston Globe report, sales of hand sanitizers increased by 620 times last year. Purell, the largest brand of hand sanitizer in the US, has expanded its production capacity to meet the demand. During the epidemic, there was a shortage of sanitizer in many places, so people ordered online.