Six teenagers brought to emergency in San Fernando Valley in the past few months have been diagnosed with alcohol poisoning after drinking the liquid sanitizer, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The allure for teens is the alcohol content in the liquid sanitizers, and they are using salt to purify it and make it even stronger in a WSJ report. Cyrus Rangan, a medical toxicology consultant for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, is quoted as saying that liquid sanitizer contains 62-per-cent ethanol. He warned parents to put hand sanitizers out of reach of kids – just like medication. (In addition to teenagers, children have been seen at hospital after accidentally drinking it.) As a precaution, hospital officials have recommended that parents purchase foam-based or no alcohol sanitizer.
“All it takes is just a few swallows and you have a drunk teenager,” Dr. Rangan told the Los Angeles Times. “There is no question that it is dangerous … It is kind of scary that they go to that extent to get a shot of essentially hard liquor.”
Hand sanitizer is the latest legally obtainable substance that teens have discovered.
“Over the years, they have ingested all sorts of things,” Helen Arbogast, injury prevention co-ordinator in the trauma program at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, told the Los Angeles Times. “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.”