Immune Suppressing, Carcinogenic Hand Sanitizers
in Schools to Prevent H1N1 Flu
Rinse-free hand sanitizers are, by definition, intended for degerming
skin without the aid of rinsing with soap and water. This type
of product has steadily gained popularity in schools and public
facilities to prevent the flu. However, the risks of using such
hand sanitizers far exceed the benefits as most have carcinogenic
and immune suppressing compounds.
Health agencies across the world have annouced a need for immediate
and persistent protection from harmful microbes and viruses, especially
those considered by world health officials as imminent threats
such as the H1N1 flu. Yet, the solutions proposed for antiseptic
preparations are often deadlier than diseases themselves and at
a detriment to long-term health.
This is especially a concern when it comes to their promotion
in schools and public facilities which cater to millions of children.
"Our plan is to give students safe topical protection that
is easily accessible and prevents germs from spreading,"
stated Charolette Dubois, a public health nurse in Montreal. Dubois
said she considers most hand sanitizers safe, although she admits
never actually looking at the ingredients.
Many brands of sanitizers contain more than 60 percent alcohol,
the same type found in alcoholic drinks, but others are made with
isopropyl alcohol, which can be fatal, even in small doses if
children ingest it.
As kids return to classrooms it is more important than ever
that we take steps to slow the spread of influenza-like viruses,
including the novel H1N1 virus, said Dr. Mark Horton, who
is the director of the California Department of Public Health
An alcohol-free hand sanitizer, like Soapopular
recently launched in the UK, can be the first line of defence
against the spread of swine flu, claims its Canadian manufacturers.
Soapopular has been popping up all over the U.K., Canada and U.S.
child care venues, schools and health care facilities. It carries
FDA approval in the U.S., Health Canada approval in Canada and
MHRA approval to market in the UK.
The soapopular product differs from most hand sanitizers in that
it does not use alcohol as its main active ingredient. They claim
it makes it a safer option for children since it contains an ammonium
compound called Benzalkonium Chloride (BAC), which clinical research
has shown to destroy most viruses in seconds including avian flu,
SARS, influenza and H1N1 virus.
On closer examination of soapopular and similar products that
contain Benzalkonium Chloride, there are alarming toxic effects
which are a far greater risk to our health than any prevention
benefits they tout.
Benzalkonium chloride is an allergen, carncinogen and immunosuppresive
chemical. Several studies have cast doubt on its reputation for
safety. It is widely used in mouthwashes, spermicidal creams,
and in various other cleaners and disinfectants. It requires higher
concentrations to be effective against specific bacteria and viruses.
BAC is also commonly used in oil field industry as a corrosion
inhibitor and specifically used for military applications.
In 2006, the Environmental Protection Agency approved
it's reregistration based on studies that directly contradicted
earlier publications which positively correlate its use with mutagenic,
allergic and immunosuppresive effects on human health.
In toxicology, BAC is also used as the median
lethal dose, LD50 (abbreviation for Lethal Dose, 50%),
required to kill half the members of a tested population.
A disinfectant containing benzalkonium chloride and the related
compound didecyldimethylammonium chloride (DDAC) has been identified
as the most probable cause of birth defects and fertility problems
in caged mice.
In the cosmetic
safety database, there is moderate to strong evidence that
it is an immune, skin and respiratory toxicant. One or more in
vitro tests on mammalian cells exposed to BAC show positive mutation
effects. Its use is restricted in cosmetic ingredients in Canada.
Safety (MSDS) data sheet at the Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
Laboratory in Oxford University shows that BAC is a corrosive,
toxic substance that causes burns. It is harmful by inhalation,
ingestion and through skin contact. In addition is may cause reproductive
defects and act as a mutagen.
Ironically, the material safety sheet on sciencelab.com
indicates that if there is serious skin contact with this chemical,
a person is to wash with a disinfectant soap, cover the contaminated
skin with an anti-bacterial cream and seek immediate medical attention.
Despite the scientifically established and toxic nature of BAC,
its integration into hand sanitizers in schools and health facilities
does not seem to concern health officials and regulating health
agencies. They insist there are no dangers or health risks associated
with using them in the short or long term. Quite the contrary,
as they would like us to believe the benefit of using BAC far
exceeds the risks of contracting a mild flu.
These are the same regulating agencies that use deceptive
science to tell us that vaccines
are safe and pharmaceuticals have no long-term effects on
our health. They may also soon tell us that pigs can fly and bees
Marco Torres is a research specialist, writer and consumer
advocate for healthy lifestyles. He holds degrees in Public Health
and Environmental Science and is a professional speaker on topics
such as disease prevention, environmental toxins and health policy.
full list of h1n1 vaccine ingredients, alerts and warnings.
Reference Sources: 151, 226, cphan.org
October 20, 2009