Are Your Kids Drinking Hand Sanitizer?

When kids get together and decide that they want to get drunk they don’t really care about the quality of the alcohol; to them booze is booze. Unfortunately many kids and teenagers will drink whatever they can find that will get them drunk, including apparently, alcohol based hand sanitizers.

Besides the obvious issue of underage drinking is the issue of what exactly they are ingesting. Turns out that there’s a big difference between the alcohol that is sold for consumption and the alcohol in sanitizers.

Hand sanitizers contain isopropyl alcohol. Isopropyl alcohol will definitely get you drunk but it can also cause internal damage, blindness and, in extreme cases, death.

To make matters worse kids are apparently purchasing or stealing sanitizers and challenging each other to drink it. Others just start drinking it because of the scents added to make them smell the way they do (strawberry and orange, for example).

Lest you think this is just an isolated incident, hospitals across the US have reported a 400% increase in sanitizer related alcohol poisoning in young children in the past 5 years. This means that almost 17,000 kids each year are brought into hospital emergency rooms because they have been drinking sanitizers.

Bottom line is that you should make sure that sanitizers are kept out of the reach of children, especially those that smell tasty. Additionally, parents need to make sure that they aren’t giving their children access to sanitizers that they might ingest.


Do Hand Cleaners Really Work?

We’ve talked about this before on this blog, the fact that hand sanitizers really don’t work and might, in fact, be doing more harm than good (See the post “That which is supposed to protect may be harming¬†instead“).

Now the FDA is finally coming to the same conclusion and is stating that they want more data to ascertain the effectiveness and safety of hand sanitizers used in hospitals. The FDA is asking manufacturers of these products to provide more data to help them make more educated recommendations, data that most manufacturers probably don’t have yet, including data about the effects of long-term use.

The issue, according to the FDA is the fact that these sanitizers are being used more widely than ever before and that the antiseptics are being absorbed into the skin and therefore into the body. It is possible that this might results in an increase in cancer and hormone problems.

Also at issue is whether, as we’ve mentioned before, these antiseptics are, in fact, producing superbug bacteria that will no longer be so easy to kill.

You can read more about this story on the ABC News website.


New “Hand Safety” Website

Whatever type of work you’re doing, you need to protect your hands. Whether you’re working in high heat applications, working with chemicals or working with tools, it’s important to keep your hands from harm.

Choosehandsafety

Gloves make up a huge percentage of most safety distributors inventory and sales. Knowing which glove is the right glove, however, isn’t necessarily an easy challenge. Nor is it easy to get your employees to wear gloves at times, especially when it’s hot out and hands get sweaty.

Because hand protection is so important and because of the challenges involved in selecting the right protection, The Center for Construction Research and Training has put together a website especially dedicated to hand safety.

choosehandsafety.org is your new go-to site for all things related to hand safety. Divided into 4 categories the site includes a section on “Choosing Hand Tools”, one on “Choosing Gloves”, one on “Health and Safety” and one on “Training and More”.

One of the coolest features is, unfortunately, the one that is the most limited. I’m referring to the “Find Examples of Gloves for Commonly Used Products” under the “Choosing Gloves” tab. The idea is awesome. Select a craft, then select the type of job and it’ll tell you which gloves are best suited. Unfortunately, as I said, it’s extremely limited. The list of crafts only has 8 categories (Brick and Block, Cement, Marble, PCC, Plaster, Stone, Terrazzo and Tile). If you work in any other job you’re on your own.

The other section you’ll want to spend some time at is the “Training and More” tab which gives you a ton of material for training and safety meetings. With guides, presentations, videos, toolbox talks and handouts you’re sure to find something you can use.


The Risks of High Speed Dryers

This information is from a pdf that you can view or download from the Kimberly-Clark website entitled “Are high speed dryers really worth the risk?”

Several new studies reveal that

high speed dryers can pose bacterial contamination, tenant dissatisfaction and other business risks.

RISK:

High speed dryers harbor bacteria on their surfaces and in their airstreams which could lead to dangerous cross contamination.

Bacteria inside dryers are carried in the airstream and deposited on wet hands. Plus many new dryer designs require placing hands inside the machine, increasing the chance of touching surfaces. That means its easier for you to come in contact with other peoples germs than with a clean paper towel.

RISK:

High speed and warm air dryers can blow bacteria on you and throughout the restroom.

A recent University of Westminster study measured bacteria counts directly below and up to 2 meters away from different dryers and towel dispensers. Paper towels posed the least risk of cross contamination. Warm air and high speed dryers literally blew out bacteria for long distances up to 2 meters in the case of the Dyson Airblade

TM. The study identified 10 different types of harmful bacteria moving through the airstream and onto hands, including Escherichia coli (e-coli) and Staphyloccus Aureus (staph).

RISK:

Air dryers can dramatically increase bacteria on hands

The University of Westminster study found that high speed dryers increase bacteria count on hands up to 42%, and warm air dryers increase bacteria by up to 254%. On the other hand,

paper towels actually reduce bacteria on hands by up to 77%.