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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Hazards of Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizers

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers now proliferate the workplace. Concern has been raised over medical issues created by their use, especially for pregnant women who are health care workers. Additionally the fragrances used may be toxic.

Virginia Evans and Peter Orris from the University of Illinois authored a Letter to the Editor on this topic in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine ( Vol 54(1):3, Jan 2012).

“…exposure to alcohol-based hand sanitizers would, at most, lead to very low blood alcohol levels… if an additional risk reduction is desired by pregnant health care workers, work practices should be modified to allow the use of soap and water as a substitute for the alcohol-based hand sanitizer.”