5 Reasons NOT to Use Hand Sanitizer and Safer Alternatives

October 15, 2018 at 12:55 am

Hand sanitizer is super toxic, weakens immunity and creates antibiotic-resistant super bugs. Soap and water work just as well.


Hand sanitizer still contains dangerous chemicals that have been banned in hand soap. Additionally, the FDA says they are no more effective at getting rid of pathogenic germs than soap and water, while recent studies confirm they are contributing to the creation of super-bacteria.

Read the following 5 reasons why you should use hand sanitizer sparingly, if ever.

1. It creates super bugs.

Several studies have shown that the overuse of antimicrobial chemicals like triclosan — found in hand sanitizer and antibacterial soap — is contributing to antibiotic resistance in bacteria, a major public health concern.

At least two million people in the United States fall sick—and about 23,000 die—from antibiotic-resistant infections every year.

A study published in August found some bacteria have mutated so that they can resist even strong alcohol hand sanitizers.

A 2011 study found that hand sanitizer actually increased the risk for norovirus. Hospitals that experienced norovirus outbreaks were six times more likely to use hand sanitizers, rather than soap and water, for routine hand hygiene.

2. It is super toxic.

Most hand sanitizers contain the hormone-disrupting chemical triclosan, or its cousin triclocarbon. These are readily absorbed by the skin and have been shown to impair thyroid function, damage our liver and muscles, and depress the central nervous system.

The FDA recently outlawed the use of these toxic chemicals in hand and body wash, but not in hand sanitizer.

Additionally, a study published in Plos One showed that because hand sanitizers increase the permeability of the skin, using them and then handling receipts causes the body to absorb BPA, a hormone-disrupting chemical.

3. It weakens immunity.

The Hygiene Hypothesis, published by Dr. David Strachen in 1989, argues that overly sterile environments are weakening children’s immune systems and contributing to the rise of allergies and illness.

Unchallenged by microbes, immune systems remain stunted, says the hypothesis. Some even believe underdeveloped immune systems can result in serious illness later in life, including diabetes and nervous system impairment.

4. They damage your skin

The alcohols used in hand sanitizers include isopropyl, ethanol, and n-propanol, all of which are very drying and irritating to the skin, stripping away its natural oils and acid mantle, dehydrating cells, and increasing the risk of contact dermatitis.

5. They hurt the environment.

Aside from all the pollution created by the plastic bottles hand sanitizers come in, the nasty chemicals we mentioned earlier end up in our water supplies when we wash our hands.

In 2002, the U.S. Geological Survey detected triclosan in more than half of the 85 rivers and streams tested in 30 states.  A 2013 paper by the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies reports the chemicals are commonly found throughout the American water system, where they the development of drug-resistant bacteria, the institute says.

Someday we’ll learn warring against Mother Nature is the same as warring against ourselves.

RELATED: The New Antibacterial Soaps are Even More Dangerous than the Ones the FDA Banned