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  • Pavithra Krishna Prasad

Why Hand-Sanitizer isn’t as good as soap solution?

Updated: Apr 21

There are always bad aspects of every good aspect. Likewise, Hand Sanitizers are our savior when there is no access to proper hand wash soap solution/water. Here are the disadvantages of using them.

  1. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a rule on the use of certain products in hand sanitizers. People are using hand sanitizer on a daily basis, sometimes multiple times a day, so the FDA has decided that the companies making hand sanitizers need to provide proof that those chemicals are safe for that level of exposure, especially for pregnant women and children. Three active ingredients — benzalkonium chloride, ethyl alcohol, and isopropyl alcohol — are still under review.

2. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can lead to dry skin, infection, and even alcohol poisoning. Plus, they have been deemed a fire hazard by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration. (OSHA)

3. According to a new study, quick application of an ethanol-based hand sanitizer onto your hands won’t kill cold and flu bugs, because your fingers are still wet with mucus.

4. Hand sanitizers offer a short term solution and not the ultimate solution to prevent viruses or bacterias. Unlike the regular practice of handwashing with water and soap.

5. Alcohol Toxicity. Most liquid hand sanitizers contain a large amount of ethyl or isopropyl alcohol. Therefore, they should be stored out of your child’s reach and only used with adult supervision. If ingested, alcohol toxicity can even lead to alcohol poisoning.

6. Dry Skin and risk of infection. When used too frequently, alcohol-based hand sanitizers can wash away your skin’s natural oils, which can cause drying and cracking. Dehydrated skin can be unattractive and irritating, and it is likely to cause one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Itching

  • Slight to severe flaking, scaling or peeling

  • Fine lines or cracks

  • Gray, ashy skin color

  • Redness

  • Deep cracks that may bleed

Dry, cracked cuticles and skin can offer an entry point for germs to enter the body and cause infection.

7. Fire Hazard. Most hand sanitizers on the market contain a high volume of alcohol, enough to be considered a fire hazard. In fact, alcohol-based hand sanitizers are classified as Class I Flammable Liquid substances, which means they have a flashpoint of less than 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Clean up spilled hand sanitizer with water immediately.

  • Store alcohol-based hand sanitizers away from all heat and ignition sources, including sparks, open flames, and electrical outlets.

  • Do not allow children to use or access hand sanitizer unless properly supervised by an adult.

  • Store alcohol-based hand sanitizers in secure locations that do not experience extremely hot temperatures.

8. Continuous usage of high alcoholic-sanitizer can be chemically hazardous to the food. Personnel coming in direct contact with the food after continuous sanitation of hands with the sanitizers can severely contaminate the food chemically.


Use hand sanitizers sparingly and practice the method of proper water and soap wash method.


#Handsanitizer #HandWash #HandHygiene #FoodSafety #BasicHygiene #coronavirus

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