Beware of Hand Sanitizer

The hand sanitizer in this photo is fragrance-free and alcohol-free.
The hand sanitizer in this photo is fragrance-free and alcohol-free.
Have you ever been in an enclosed vehicle when someone uses their hand sanitizer? The power of the VOCs in the fragrance take over and soon the fragrance fills the entire vehicle. It’s too much for most people to have to breathe in a small enclosed space.

Last year, on a road trip, another passenger used their hand sanitizer. Within seconds the fragrance filled the entire car. I wound up hanging my head out the window for a few miles to avoid a migraine. Since then, I have purchased a fragrance-free, alchol-free hand sanitizer and keep one in both of our vehicles.

I understand the need for hand sanitizers when there is no other way to wash your hands. While I do carry one on trips and have them in the car, I try not to use them often.

Here are some reasons you should rethink frequent use of hand sanitizers:

  • Most hand sanitizers contain alcohol. The alcohol concentration needs to be 60% or higher in order to kill germs.
  • The alcohol in hand sanitizer will dry your skin.
  • Too many hand sanitizers are full of fragrance, enough to drive the scent-sensitive crazy!
  • Hand sanitizers don’t really clean your hands. That’s right. They may be killing some of the bacteria on your hands, but they are NOT a replacement for soap and water.
  • Cleaning your hands with a hand sanitizer will not remove food allergens from your hands. Hand sanitizer may kill the bacteria and viruses, but it won’t remove everything from the hand. So when dealing with food allergies, nothing replaces good old soap & water!

As I said, I am not opposed to the occasional use of hand sanitizer for those times when soap and water isn’t available. I just encourage everyone to find less harmful hand sanitizers. Even if you think they don’t harm you, be considerate of the people around you.

So, tell me in the comments …
Do you rely on hand sanitizers to clean your hands?
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