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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Teenagers Using Hand Sanitizers

Teenagers are notorious for finding cheap and easy ways to get intoxicated which can be extremely dangerous considering they are using substances that were not intended for human consumption. In the latest of bad ideas, six teenagers suffered alcohol poisoning from drinking hand sanitizer in California. Hand sanitizers will often times contain alcohol as well as potentially hazardous chemicals, parents should keep an eye out for signs of abuse according to public health officials.

Salt can be used to separate the alcohol from the hand sanitizer, making a drink that is similar in potency to a shot of liquor, according to the LA Times.

“All it takes is just a few swallows and you have a drunk teenager,” Cyrus Rangan, Director of the Toxics Epidemiology Program at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, told the newspaper. “There is no question that it is dangerous.”

There is a strong potential that this activity will be a new trend amongst teenagers. “Over the years, they have ingested all sorts of things,” said Helen Arbogast, Injury Prevention Coordinator in the Trauma Program at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. “Cough syrup had reached a very sexy point where young people were using it….We want to be sure this doesn’t take on the same trend.”

Liquid hand sanitizer is 62 percent ethyl alcohol, and can make a 120-proof liquid.

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