Hand Sanitizers Trigger Positive Alcohol Results

GAINESVILLE - Scientists have found applying hand sanitizer every five minutes can trigger positive results on alcohol urine tests. But University of Florida researchers have found a way that may distinguish between drinking alcohol and exposure to hand sanitizers. [audio:http://eunalhee.com/wp-content/uploads/Lhee_sanitizer.mp3|titles=sanitizer|artists=Lhee]

Besides blood tests and breathalyzers, urine tests are also used to detect alcohol in a person’s body.

University of Florida researchers found people who frequently used alcohol-based hand sanitizers tested positive for alcohol on urine tests. But the study also found another compound to test in urine that could help distinguish between alcohol from beverages and alcohol from consumer products, like mouthwash and hairspray.

UF researcher Gary Reisfield said people can absorb a substantial amount of alcohol through their skin, but not enough to get them impaired.

"I want to make it clear that no matter how much you wash your hands with this stuff, you can’t get drunk," Reisfield said. "No possibility of getting drunk, unless you drink the stuff, of course."

Reisfield said the compound may help laboratories more accurately pinpoint the source of alcohol.

The findings were published in the March issue of the Journal of Analytical Toxicology. [HealthyState.org | FPR Spot]