Hand Sanitizer Alcohol

Published: May 12th, 2011

Category: Video

Many people reach for antibacterial hand sanitizers to clean their hands, but now research shows some hand sanitizers do more than just kill the germs on your hands. A new University of Florida study shows the frequent use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers can lead to a positive test for high alcohol levels. Researchers asked study participants to clean their hands alcohol hand sanitizers 120 times a day for three days. Researchers tested the participants’ urine and found it contained measurable levels of a biomarker used to detect alcohol use in urine tests.

Dr. Gary Reisfield/UF psychiatrist: “Levels of one of the biomarkers that we found was consistent with the use of moderate amounts of alcohol consumed over the previous several hours to the previous several days.”

The biomarkers do not reveal impairment, as a blood-alcohol test would. Experts say people can test positive for alcohol consumption after being exposed to many household products.

Dr. Gary Reisfield/UF psychiatrist: “Anybody out there who is required to abstain from alcohol needs to be cognizant about alcohol that may be hidden in products such has hand washing gels, mouthwashes, hairsprays and other food and cosmetic products. You need to not only be careful of what you put in your body, but what you put on your body.”

Experts say health care workers have a higher risk of testing positive for the biomarkers because they frequently use hand sanitizers.

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