Hand sanitizers have come a long way. They have zero chance of getting you sick. The FDA has approved more than 800 hand sanitizers for use in hospitals, nail salons, and other public places.
There are also safer and higher-quality hand sanitizers designed for specific health care situations or situations in your home, but the best hand sanitizers can still only reduce the risk of germs that are naturally present in your hand, not the potentially dangerous ones you pick up with everyday contact.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued warnings about nine hand sanitizers sold for use on your face, hands, or body. They are, again, safe to use in your everyday life.
Bertolli Max: The Borneo Hand Sanitizer: A hand sanitizer designed to be used on the mouth, the FDA warns it contains benzene. The agency adds that benzene “is a concern for pregnant women, women of childbearing age, small children, and people with a medical condition that produces elevated levels of benzene.” The agency is not suggesting that you stop using the hand sanitizer.
Maya Hand Sanitizer: A hand sanitizer designed for babies, the FDA cautions that it contains chlorine. The agency adds that two companies that make these hand sanitizers have issued recalls.
Ecolab Filtrete Hand Cleaner + Sanitizer: The FDA cautions that this hand sanitizer “can contain hazardous levels of disinfectant, potentially exposing consumers to lead.” The FDA warns consumers to read the label carefully to ensure it does not contain products containing potentially toxic materials like chlorine bleach.
Oritani Hand Sanitizer Kit: The FDA warns that this hand sanitizer “can contain chlorinated oil” that can cause skin irritation, which is a concern in hospitals.
Zonamin Hand Sanitizer: The FDA cautions that this hand sanitizer “is too risky to use as it contains bleach” that can “cause permanent and serious adverse health effects in most medical devices” when swallowed.
Ionizer Quick Hand Sanitizer: A hand sanitizer designed for nail salons, the FDA cautions that it contains hydrogen peroxide, a potentially harmful disinfectant. The agency urges you to consult your doctor before using any hydrogen peroxide in nail salons.
Coca-Cola Hand Sanitizer Kit: A hand sanitizer meant for pregnant women, breast feeding mothers, and other vulnerable individuals, the FDA cautions that it contains a potentially harmful disinfectant called chlorinated plant oil.
Made In America Nature’s Wild Hand Sanitizer Kit: The FDA cautions that this hand sanitizer does not contain noils and berries, which “can cause severe gastrointestinal or other health effects when consumed.”
SDS Bio Sanitizer: The FDA cautions that this hand sanitizer “contains noils, berries, and leaf materials that can cause adverse health effects when consumed.” The FDA cautions that it is an antibacterial and not an all-natural alternative.
Blaze! Spray Hand Sanitizer Kit: The FDA cautions that this hand sanitizer contains any number of chemicals that “can harm you and your family.” While the agency does not specifically point to these chemicals in the Sanitizer Kit, it cautions consumers about the potential dangers of using it as a home alternative.