We are a clean society We have breeded a culture of germ-o-phobia. After all the Swine Flu attention in the media, hand sanitizers are everywhere. They are in bathrooms next to traditional soap machines, on counters in day centers, on the teacher’s desks and by the entrance of most stores. These easy to access products are loaded with chemicals and alcohol. Not only that, they are considered DRUGS because of the chemicals they contain! I found one individually wrapped hand wipe in an old baby bag I cleaned out the other day (before I knew about safer options). I was surprised to see it had hormone disrupting parabens in it.
One company in particular that seems to have a large share of the market has specific instructions on using their product. According to their FAQ’s page, you can use their product, which is mostly ‘ethyl alcohol’ (62%) “as often as you like“, and that “no alcohol is left behind because it mostly evaporates”.
Alcohol baths were once used in hospitals to treat patients. They are no longer used because of their link to alcohol poisoning. You may have never heard of alcohol baths used for lowering a fever unless you were a nurse 30+ years ago or know someone who was. My mom was a nurse and was trained to use alcohol baths as an option for treating a fever. In time this practice was eliminated because of the potential harm it may cause and is no longer taught in medical school.
There are many articles on the dangers of alcohol baths and ethyl alcohol because the alcohol is absorbed through the skin. Could this same effect result from applying an alcohol based hand sanitizer on the hands “as often as you like”, more quickly with a small child of 20-30 pounds? I’d rather not find out, so I use essential oil based hand sanitizers which have no alcohol.
Even worse than alcohol is Triclosan, used in many hand sanitizers and hand soaps, even “anti-bacterial” lotions. One bath product store that sells fruity, flowery bath products in every scent and color combination is known for filling most of their anti-bacterial line with Triclosan, so read labels! Scientists discovered these anti-bacterial chemicals may actually make you sick! As if that is not enough to motivate you to find another alternative, now research has found Triclosan may actually impair muscle control.
- Essential oil blends of clove, cinnamon, rosemary, lemon and Eucalyptus radiate are available in one company’s EO products.
- Clean Well is another brand that offers a spray sanitizer, alcohol-free, based on Thyme essential oil and aloe. If you have been using essential oils for any time, you know that skin absorption is one of the benefits of using the oils, especially on children. The essential oils penetrate the skin barrier and go directly to the bloodstream. The skin is our largest organ and capable of absorbing many substances. When you use an essential oil based hand sanitizer it’s giving a boost to your immune system.
- DIY & make your own hand sanitizer with a glass spray bottle, aloe vera (Aubrey is my favorite) and essential oils like lavender, clove, lemon, rosemary and orange. Fill a 4 ounce spray bottle half-way with water or witch hazel, add 4 tablespoons of Aloe Vera (not the goopy gel with chemicals) add 15-20 drops of anti-bacterial essential oils of your choice, shake first and spray away. No Triclosan!
Hand sanitizers are a convenient way to cleanse the hands in a pinch if there is no running water, but even the CDC advises to keep the hands clean with soap and running water. The CDC even advises that hand sanitizers “should not be used in lieu of hand washing”. Check out this link for proper hand washing techniques. And use old fashioned soap – not anti-bacterial, chemical laden versions adding to the chemical absorption through your skin.
What do you use for emergency hand sanitizing when water isn’t accessible?
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and this information is for educational purposes only. It is not the intent of Pure Home and Body LLC to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.