What if I say your kids and family are in danger pin pointing a specific ingredient in your hand sanitizer? There is no shortage of information available on the internet that will tell you everything that you are using whether it is your hand sanitizer or deodorant contains ingredients that will cause cancer in your body and eventually lead to death. These marketing tactics are annoying at times. Spreading fear is not my objective, rather I seek to educate and provide valuable information.
We are busy people who spend the day cleaning, changing diapers, feeding our family, and hopefully feeding ourselves. In this busy schedule we have little downtime to research about brands and ingredients. We all want to trust brands and products blindfolded believing everything they are selling is worthy of buying, unfortunately this is not the case. Many of the marketers claim their products are safe, but evidence and research doesn’t support it.
“Consumer must look carefully at the label before they buy any of the hand sanitizer,”1 said Elaine Larson, professor of pharmaceutical and therapeutic research at Columbia’s nursing school. “Check the bottle for active ingredients. You might see few names such as ethyl alcohol, ethanol, isopropanol or some other supplement, and those are all fine. But observe one important fact about whichever alcohol listed on the bottle, its concentration is between 60 and 95 percent. Less than that isn’t enough.”1
Toxic Ingredients In Hand Soaps And Hand Sanitizers
The following is a list of some toxic ingredients common in hand soap, hand sanitizer, and other personal care products. This is not a complete list of all toxic ingredients, but will give you a start when you look at ingredient labels.
Triclosan, the active ingredient in hand sanitizer, can kill off the good bacteria on your hands and allow anti-biotic resistant bad bacteria to grow. Triclosan is similar to the pesticide Agent Orange and can cause decreased fertility, birth defects, and damage to major body organs. Triclosan can combine with chlorine in our tap water to make chloroform gas. The EPA classifies this gas as a probable human carcinogen2.
Benzalkonium Chloride (BAC) is used in hand sanitizers and belongs to a group of germicides knows as “quats”. Exposure to the toxic chemical such as BAC may produce side effects such as rashes, allergic reactions, itching, redness, swelling, blisters, skin peeling, fever etc3.
Propylene Oxide, Polyethylene Glycol
Propylene glycol is found in hand sanitizers, moisturizers, shaving creams, deodorants, and baby products. It is listed on the FDA government website as a known carcinogen, weakening skin cells as well. It is linked to reproductive toxicity, allergies/immune toxicity, and organ system toxicity. Perfumes, parabens and phthalates disrupt hormone production3.
After reading about above toxic ingredients, may fall into another trap of switching to products labelled as “natural or organic”. Here comes a little bit of awareness to recognise there are a whole lot of products available in the market containing toxic ingredients, being labelled as natural or organic.
What’s the solution?
Carefully read the ingredients on the sanitizer and quantity used in making the final product. Never forget to research about the sanitizer you are buying whether it is certified ToxicFree® and uses stabilized oxygen, rather than harmful chemicals, to guard against bacteria and viruses without drying out your skin or killing the GOOD bacteria that those little tummies NEED to stay healthy.
By Devendra Verma – Devendra is a passionate writer, ambitious journalist and an intern with Mistpoffer®
- Franklin, D. (2019). Hand Sanitizers, Good or Bad?. [online] Nytimes.com. Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/21/health/21cons.html [Accessed 11 Jan. 2019].
- Simplyathomemom.com. (2019). Exposed: 5 Harmful Ingredients Found In Your Favorite Hand Sanitizer – Simply At Home Mom. [online] Available at: http://simplyathomemom.com/2014/02/12/exposed-5-harmful-ingredients-found-in-your-favorite-hand-sanitizer/ [Accessed 11 Jan. 2019].
- Wendy, M. (2019). 11 Toxic Ingredients to Avoid in Hand Soap and Sanitizer and Safer Options for Your Family | Awakening Willow. [online] Awakeningwillow.com. Available at: http://awakeningwillow.com/2010/04/27/11-toxic-ingredients-to-avoid-in-hand-soap-and-sanitizer-and-safer-options-for-your-family/ [Accessed 11 Jan. 2019].