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Your Covid-19 questions answered

Are alcohol-based hand sanitisers safe for everyone to use?

28 January 2022 - 07:00
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says there are no health concerns associated with using alcohol hand sanitisers.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says there are no health concerns associated with using alcohol hand sanitisers.
Image: Brigham Young University

There are no health concerns associated with using alcohol-based hand sanitisers, says the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Since the advent of the global coronavirus pandemic in 2019, experts have recommended using them to disinfect hands and surfaces to reduce the chances of contracting Covid-19. 

The WHO says though there have been rare cases of accidental swallowing and intoxication, alcohol-based hand sanitisers are safe for everyone to use. 

“Alcohols in the sanitisers have not been shown to create any relevant health issues. Little alcohol is absorbed into the skin, and most products contain an emollient to reduce skin dryness. Allergic contact dermatitis and bleaching of hand hair due to alcohol are very rare adverse effects.”

The organisation said hand sanitisers are safe to use often.

“An alcohol-based sanitiser does not create antibiotic resistance. Unlike other antiseptics and antibiotics, pathogens (harmful germs) do not seem to develop resistance to alcohol-based sanitisers,” said the WHO. 


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