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Mr. Gregory White
Mr. Gregory White, Teacher
Category: General
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Experience:  M.A., M.S. Education / Educational Administration
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can ethanol be absorbed through the skin and to what degre

Customer Question

can ethanol be absorbed through the skin and to what degree?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: General
Expert:  Mr. Gregory White replied 5 years ago.

educatortech :

Typically, there is only a minute amount of the alcohol in hand sanitizers that is actually absorbed through the skin. However, most doctors recommend that the usage of these are only done when soap and water is not available due to, as you stated, the lack of long term studies at this point on the topic. However, if hands need to be sanitized and there is not soap and water present, then the usage of a hand sanitizer is far safer than not using anything to clean the hands.

educatortech :

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thank you for your reply. according to fick's law ethanol applied to the skin could actually reach some toxic levels if the area is large enough and prolonged exposure. are you aware of any articles that discuss prolonged exposure?

Expert:  Mr. Gregory White replied 5 years ago.
I believe some longer term studies are underway at this time, especially by the companies that make the products (for their own protection). Unfortunately, the usage of these sanitizers are really recent (in terms of long term studies) and it will take a while for some of these to hit the mainstream and get approved for articles through the peer review process.
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