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Toxic substances detected in hand sanitizers: How to safely use disinfectants could be dangerous Updated: 2020-10-13 17:07:52 KST

The COVID-19 virus has been shown to survive on surfaces for a long time on the skin, up to nine hours.

"When it comes to the virus surviving on surfaces you have to wash your hands thoroughly because it can be transmitted through the mucous of the eyes, nose and mouth"

Hand sanitizers therefore have become a daily necessity, available as a gel or liquid and in dispensers and sprays.
One recent report showed that one in ten sanitizers on the market contain a substance confirmed to be toxic last year by South Korea's environment ministry.
That's benzalkonium chloride, a material used for making the product more gentle on the skin.
But it's been found to damage not only the respiratory organs but the skin and eyes too when inhaled.
Experts say spray sanitizers are especially dangerous because the substance can go directly go into the respiratory system.

"Our skin gives us our primary protection, but toxic materials can be absorbed directly through nose. This can cause bleeding in the nasal cavity and contraction in the bronchial tubes. It can also permeate the lungs and impact the entire body."

The National Assembly brought up the issue to the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety during an inspection held Tuesday and called for the ministry to review the safety of the substance and whether anyone has been hurt by it.

"It's true that there is a lack of specific standards on toxic materials in hand sanitizers. The current standardized amount of benzalkonium chloride in sanitizers is below zero.zero-6-6 percent. But there are many products on the market that exceed this limit by double or even more than six fold."

"Once the investigation into possible side effects has been conducted by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, the National Assembly plans to propose a bill for stricter and more detailed standards on hand sanitizers. Choi Jeong-yoon, Arirang News."
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