Please don't drink hand sanitiser just because it has alcohol in it

People have reportedly been cracking their way into communal hand sanitiser stations so that they can drink the gel inside, which contains a potentially lethal mix of chemicals and alcohol.

Dispensers in places such as South Shields, South Tyneside have been broken into, with vandals putting the gel into bottles so it can be drunk.

These hand gel stations have been made with a view to helping people keep safe from coronavirus but while the gel can save lives and kill germs when applied externally, if consumed, hand sanitiser can be highly dangerous.

Worryingly, York-based company have been tasked with dgetting rid of thousands of damaged gel containers every week.

Director Mark Hall spoke to the Independent on the matter, saying: ‘It’s happening all over the place, pretty much everywhere. We take these away for councils and businesses, and we’re seeing so many damaged you wouldn’t believe.

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‘It’s mindless idiocy. This stuff is 80% proof with who knows what other chemicals inside. Do not drink it.’

While actions like this suggest extreme foolishness or and/or terrible addiction in the perpetrators, it bears repeating that you should not under any circumstances drink hand sanitiser.

Not only is the alcohol content high enough for you to overdose before you even start to feel drunk, but the other chemicals that make up hand gel are not remotely fit for human consumption

As if that wasn’t bad enough, there’s often no way to tell exactly how toxic the ingredients of communal hand gels are.

According to ‘Two types of alcohol are used in alcohol-based hand sanitisers. The most common type contains between 60% and 95% ethanol (ethyl alcohol or grain alcohol).

‘This type of hand sanitiser can get you buzzed or drunk, but it’s the equivalent to 120-proof liquor. In contrast, vodka is 80-proof.’

The webpage adds: ‘The other type of alcohol-based hand sanitiser contains isopropyl alcohol (isopropanol or rubbing alcohol).

‘This kind of alcohol is toxic and can cause brain damage, blindness, kidney damage, and liver damage.’

However, the ingredient with the potential to be the most toxic will often be listed as just ‘fragrance’, because said scents are often made using petrochemicals.

So please, we implore you, do not drink hand sanitiser.

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