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Hand sanitizer proven to be dangerous!

I’m so thankful I grew up in a home where I was encouraged to play. Not only play, but play outdoors, even in dirt! I’m also glad that I raised my own children the same way. Rain or shine, snow or wind — my kids were outside playing on most days throughout the year. Digging in dirt was a typical component of their outdoor play. Yes, they ruined many pairs of sneakers and ripped their jeans (which, who knew, made them ahead of their time in fashion trends? lol). Their bare hands were in contact with bugs, mud, grass, dust, dirt, tree bark, frogs, etc. One thing I never let them put on their hands, however, was hand sanitizer. And now, after reading recent news reports, I’m really glad I made that decision early on in life.

We don’t use anti-bacterial soaps in our household, either. Such products seem like great inventions at first. They kill bacteria! In world where people are now so afraid of germs that they cover their faces, inject themselves with dangerous experimental drugs and avoid human interaction, killing bacteria sounds helpful, right? The only problem is that anti-bacterial products, including hand sanitizer, not only kill bad bacteria, they also wipe out all of the good bacteria your body needs to be healthy! Yep, you read that right. Your body NEEDS bacteria (certain types) to be healthy. When you use anti-bacteria detergents, hand soaps or hand sanitizer, you’re inadvertently weakening your immune system. You’re getting rid of ALL bacteria on your skin, not just the bad stuff.

Some hand sanitizer contains benzene, a petroleum product banned from consumer products

hand sanitizer, back of woman, brown pony tail, white lab coat, standing in laboratory, lab equipment

A particular laboratory discovered that various brands of hand sanitizer sold in the United States contain benzene. “So what?” you might say. Benzene is a solvent that comes from petroleum. It is known to cause cancer. In fact, it is banned from use in consumer products. The lab that made the discoveries filed a citizen petition in March, 2021, imploring the FDA to take action. The laboratory also posted an offer on its website. They invited consumers in possession of the hand sanitizer in question (various brands, including Artnaturals) to send in samples free of charge for testing.

A nurse who sent in a sample was reportedly shocked to learn that her hand sanitizer contain levels of benzene that were thousands of times higher than the Environmental Protection Agency’s benzene limits for drinking water. The fact that benzene is toxic is not new information. It’s been known for more than a century.

Benzene in hand sanitizer is known to cause leukemia

hand sanitizer, pink background, scrabble tiles spelling out 'leukemia'

There are categories of carcinogens. Benzene falls under category one, which means it is at the top of list for chemicals the FDA says NOT to use in manufactured products. You know how things often get worse before they get better? Yeah, well wait for it — the same lab that found extremely high levels of benzene in hand sanitizer also found it in sunscreen products and anti-fungal sprays. (Coincidentally, or, perhaps, not so much so — I don’t allow my kids to use sunscreen products either.

It never made much sense to me that slathering toxic chemicals onto your skin then baking them in the sun was a good idea, health-wise. I adamantly believe there’s a connection between the increase of dangerous melanoma skin cancer and use of sunscreen.) Also, antiperspirants, such as Old Spice, contain levels of benzene at 17 parts per million. How much is allowed in drinking water? Five parts per million. (#wakeupAmerica)

As a consumer, you can reasonably expect that the products you purchase and use in everyday life are safe. If there’s a risk to your health involved, accurate labeling should inform you of it. You shouldn’t have to purchase hand sanitizer, sunscreen or deodorant without knowing that there are dangerous levels of ingredients in them that are known to cause cancer!

Mass paranoia and fear of germs has skyrocketed sale of sanitizers

black man wearing suit, spraying something on hands of two girls in school uniforms, map on wall in background

It’s logical to assume that the longer you use a product containing a carcinogen, the greater chance you have of suffering adverse health effects. With that in mind, think of all the children whose parents are practically dousing them in hand sanitizer each day. Such parents love their kids and want what’s best for them. However, like many other people in America and throughout the world, they’ve been misguided to believe that they need to use hand sanitizer every few hours to be safe in life. That’s simply not true. In fact, the science shows that regular use of hand sanitizer places your health at risk rather than helping you avoid illness or infection!

FDA finally weighs in on the topic and issues a severe warning

black background, yellow triangle warning sign, black border, skull and crossbones

In October, (long after the lab’s discoveries and citizen petition), the FDA publicly stated that there were “unacceptable levels” of benzene in Artnaturals hand sanitizer. It also stated that there were also “unacceptable levels” of acetaldehyde and acetal in the same products. These are known toxins, as well. (Is anyone else wondering why the hand sanitizer and other products in question are STILL available for consumer purchase on our store shelves?!) A couple of weeks ago, the FDA sent a press alert to NBC, urging consumers to stop using Artnaturals hand sanitizer products.

Stop using? Why not demand a recall?!?

The wishy-washy FDA has claimed that it does not have the authority or power to issue a recall. It can (and has) asked the companies involved to investigate. However, the FDA claims that the companies are the only ones who can issue recalls.

I know that the FDA can inspect manufacturing facilities. Not surprisingly, the agency has declined to state whether it has done so in this case.

Brand names that Valisure lab listed as having dangerous levels of benzene in their products

hand sanitizer, red and black caution sign

Word of mouth and human beings being proactive to encourage and support one another is the key to good health. We certainly can’t depend on the U.S. government or companies with financial interests in a product to keep us safe. Thankfully, the Valisure lab who did the testing has issued a list of brand names. Their products (hand sanitizer, sunscreens, anti-perspirants and more) contain extremely high and dangerous levels of benzene:

 

  • Artnaturals
  • Neutrogena
  • Aveeno
  • CVS Health

Interestingly, the parent company of Neutrogena and Aveeno is none other than Johnson & Johnson.

Yeah, ’nuff said.

 

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