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Addiction

02 February 2007

Don’t drink hand sanitisers

Concerns about the abuse of alcohol-based hand sanitisers are highlighted in case studies published in a leading US medical journal.

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Concerns about the abuse of alcohol-based hand sanitisers are highlighted in case studies published in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine. The alcohol in these products is not the same as the type found in drinks.

One letter to the journal describes the case of a 49-year-old US prison inmate who became intoxicated by drinking alcohol-based hand sanitiser. The letter said the inmate was described as becoming "red-eyed, loony and combative" after he was seen to drink from a gallon container of Purell hand sanitiser, CBC News reported.

A second letter describes a 43-year-old alcoholic with mysterious chest pains who drank hand wash that had isopropyl alcohol from a dispenser in a US hospital washroom.

The authors of the second letter noted that ingesting about 200 millilitres of isopropanol can prove fatal because it depresses the central nervous system and the heart, CBC News reported.

It may be a good idea to change the labels on alcohol-based hand sanitisers, the authors concluded. – (HealthDayNews)

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Alcohol

February 2007

 

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