Pentagon Warning Troops Over Flammable Hand Sanitizer

first published on August 17, 2020 by

The Fort Jackson Safety Office issued a warning about the dangers of alcohol-based hand sanitizers after an employee at the Department of Energy Federal Contractors Group had their hands ignite in flames.

hand sanitizer

A Federal Drug Administration memo claimed the employee “touched a metal surface which … accumulated a static electrical charge, resulting in an ignition source.”

The CDC recommends using hand sanitizer containing at least 60% ethanol or ethyl alcohol. However, the FDA is warning that many hand sanitizer compounds contain methanol which is used for anti freeze and is highly toxic if absorbed through the skin or ingested. The FDA also warned that they are seeing an increasing number of adverse cases “including blindness, cardiac effects, effects on the central nervous system, and hospitalizations and death, primarily reported to poison control centers and state departments of health.”

“We can never be too cautious. Please exercise vigilance when using these gel sanitizers to ensure it is completely evaporated before touching any metal object and/or other items that often harbor static electricity,” said Ron Ross, safety manager with Fort Jackson’s Installation Safety Office.

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