Dangers of Hand Sanitizer

A Closer Look: Hand Sanitizers and the Hidden Dangers

Posted on Posted in Teal_Wash

As parents we always want what’s best for our children. Especially when it comes to their health. 

Picture this…

Your little one has some friends over and they’re all playing within earshot. Then, you hear it. The sound that can make a parent stop in their tracks.

One of the kids has a sneezing fit all over the toys and doesn’t cover a single sneeze.

Then you see your little one reach for those same toys.

What do you do?

Do you let your little continue to play without saying a word?

Or do you run by quickly with some hand sanitizer for the entire group?

Now, as a parent it’s completely understandable to move for the fast and seemingly effective option.

Before you do that though…

We want you to know why it can be more dangerous than helpful.


“Hand Sanitizers May Increase Norovirus Risk” [1]

After a sneezing fit your goal is to stop the spread of germs. We all know that once one little gets a cold it only takes a few days and the rest of the house has it too! You may have heard that hand sanitizers actually have antimicrobial compounds in them. That’s definitely not always the benefit that it may appear to be. Triclosan is an active ingredient in most sanitizer products and it can be detrimental after long-term use because it makes bacteria more resistant to antibiotics. What seems like a short term fix can be a long term problem. Continued exposure to triclosan can cause the bacteria that your little comes in contact with to evolve into an even more aggressive cold than before… or worse…acute gastroenteritis. [2] Yikes! Along with that scary thought you should know about the other affects prolonged exposure to hand sanitizers can bring.


The danger of 0ver exposure…

When using hand sanitizers continuously you are risking more than just an evolved version of a cold or an upset stomach. You’re also at risk for hormonal issues as well. [3] Animal studies have shown a direct correlation between exposure to triclosan and the effects it has on estrogen levels as well as the thyroid. Further studies are being conducted to fully understand the repercussions of long-term exposure in humans. Regardless, it’s a risk that you should be aware of so that you can make a fully informed choice!

Now, it sounds like we’re making a big deal out of a little thing like hand sanitizers, but it can be one step out of many when it comes to limiting your exposure to chemicals.

Never ending Exposure to Chemicals

Navigating the amount of chemicals our skin comes into contact with on a daily basis can be overwhelming. A simple Google search yields numbers from “515 chemicals” to “168 chemicals” per day that we come into contact with [4]  . Nevertheless, a basic understanding of how chemicals are absorbed into the skin can result in the conclusion that it’s best to limit the use of products filled with suspicious chemicals as much as possible. [5]


What started as a discussion about keeping your child safe from germs after a sneezing fit took a quick turn. That’s for a reason though. What can seem like convenience can truly have a much longer effect on your system. Taking a step away from the quick fix of hand sanitizers and following proper hand washing technique can save you from more than just a cold. Hand washing allows you to remove bacteria opposed to simply rubbing bacteria around your hands using hand sanitzer.

Thinking of changing your tactic?

Check out this video from Teal Wash to show your precious little one the best way to wash their hands because, believe it or not, there’s actually a simple method to effectively remove that pesky bacteria without the risk of exposure to dangerous chemicals.

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