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Back To School-Hand Sanitizer

🏫Back to School - on my kids classroom supplies list, is always hand sanitizer.
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According to the CDC, hand washing with soap and water is by far the best way to clean your hands. However, there may be situations where soap and water is not available... In this joint post with Dr. Chen from @plateful.health, we explore the possible hazards lurking in hand sanitizers and suggest better, less toxic options for you.
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1️⃣Alcohol - present in high concentrations in some hand sanitizers, it can disrupt the skin barrier and also dry out your skin. Plus, a small study in 2014 showed that using hand sanitizer (purell was what they used) before handling receipts dramatically increase the absorption of BPA (by around 30 fold), and led to an increased urinary concentration of BPA. It is thought that hand sanitizers contain dermal penetration enhancers, which may increase the delivery of lipophilic chemicals like BPA and phthalates (1). Consider an alcohol containing hand sanitizer that also has the ingredient 'fragrance' (which may hide over 3000 toxins like phthalates, PEGs), the alcohol may actually be increasing the absorption of these other harmful chemicals too.
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Alcohol based hand sanitizers have also been shown in studies to be associated with antibiotic resistance (2). Antibiotic resistance is an increasing clinical concern, it is something we all should be more cognizant of, as antibiotics may fail to work when you really need them if the current trend continues.
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2️⃣Fragrance - as discussed above, avoid hand sanitizers with this ingredient on the label, or speak to the manufacturer specifically about what they used, as this is a catch all term that may include over 3000 harmful chemicals like phthalates and PEG which can cause endocrine disruption (thyroid, estrogen, insulin/obesity)
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3️⃣Benzalkonium chloride - is rated a 6 by the EWG. This is a preservative and antimicrobial which may lead to skin/respiratory irration and antibiotic resistance.(3).
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Better options: clean with water and soap, use the alternative options listed above to sanitize your hands if water and soap is not available, or make your own hand sanitizer.
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Citations listed 👇🏻