ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta) – Recent studies have suggested that hand sanitizer is bad for you. Triclosan, the active ingredient in hand sanitizer, can kill off the good bacteria on your hands and allow anti-biotic resistant bad bacteria to grow.
Now a study finds that using hand sanitizer can actually increase the skin’s absorbtion of a dangerous chemical.
Bisphenol A (BPA) is used to make clear plastic packaging for food and plastic bottles for drinks.
BPA disrupts the bodies hormones in a way that disrupts the endocrine system.
Studies have linked high amounts of BPA to hormone disorders, cancer, heart disease, infertility and even diabetes.
Most commonly used hand sanitizers contain chemicals that increases the ability of certain compounds to penetrate deep under the skin.
Researchers at the University of Missouri used thermal receipt papers, the kind used in many cash registers across the country. The thermal paper contains very high amounts of BPA.
They found that using hand sanitizer before touching the receipt paper increased the absorption of BPA by up to a hundred-fold.
BPA also lingers on the skin, so if a person eats right after using sanitizer on their hands, he or she would be effectively getting a double dose of the chemical, once through the skin, and the second time by eating it.
The levels of BPA seen in the study are high enough to increase the risk of disease for adults and the risk of developmental abnormalities in children.
The researchers say until BPA is replaced with a safer alternative, people should simply avoid using hand sanitizers. And if someone needs to use it, he or she shouldn’t eat right away.
The study is published in PLOS One.
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