** Senegal move into WC last 16 ** BNP gets Suhrawardy Uddyan to hold Dhaka rally on 26 conditions ** HC orders ACC to complete probe in 3 months ** Bangladesh to get $30 million in climate adaptation fund ** Chinese protesters say police seeking them out ** Dhaka WASA MD takes Tk 57.99m as gross salary to13 yrs ** Chandpur teen stabbed to death after argument over WC match ** Saudi firm, BPDB to set up 1000MW solar power plant in BD ** In corruption-driven economy one can't punish big loan defaulters ** Late Casemiro strike sends Brazil into last 16 ** Rare protests spread across China ** Girls outshine boys total pass rate 87.44 per cent ** Farmers get arrested but big embezzlers remain untouched ** 7.1m Bangladeshis displaced by climate change in 2022: WHO ** Ghana beat South Korea by 3-2 goals ** Cabinet directs to verify news being shared about banking sector ** Govt now can raise fuel, power tariffs ** We are watching a drama : HC ** Thai AirAsia launches Dhaka-Bangkok inaugural flight ** New DAP may trouble housing sector ** 12 Pabna farmers get bail in loan default case ** Protests spread in China as anger mounts over 'zero-Covid' ** Strike paralyses waterways across Bangladesh ** Will the big loan defaulters remain untouched? ** A ball goes past the Belgium's goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois (right) as Morocco's Romain Saiss (centre) and Morocco's Achraf Hakimi block his view from an offside position during the World Cup group F soccer match between Belgium and Morocco at the Al Thumama Stadium in Doha of Qatar on Sunday. Agency photo **

Caution in using hand sanitizers in Covid-19

11 August 2020

Dr. Muhammad Torequl Islam :
The use of hand sanitizers is expected in health care where there is not enough opportunity to wash hands with soap/detergent and water. Needless to say, one of the first steps taken to prevent novel coronavirus (also called severe acute respiratory distress syndrome coronavirus 2 or SARS-CoV-2) infection is to use regular soap/detergent or hand sanitizers in accordance with the health rules. The World Health Organization (WHO) has clarified the components of hand sanitizers (e.g., ethanol, isopropyl alcohols, hydrogen peroxide with their various combinations) and their usage. WHO is also providing updated information on a regular basis, however, some unexpected incidents are happening regularly worldwide among the users.
By capitalizing on this at an early stage, many unscrupulous traders in different countries of the world raise the prices of such products, which cause a kind of special suffering to the public, though, many blame the inadequate supply of raw materials and the short-sightedness of the manufacturing companies. However, even if stocking status is ignored, the prices of hand sanitizers are a bit higher than the soaps and detergents, which is limiting the poor people to reach these kinds of products. Already, many small unnamed (new) hand sanitizer companies have emerged that have gained prudent public concerns about the quality of raw materials, manufacturing facilities/equipments, quality control and supply management process.
Although no deaths have been reported, there have been a number of accidents involving the use of hand sanitizers in Bangladesh since the beginning of the SARS-CoV-2 infection; among them, the skin of the users' hands gets burnt is mentionable. Most people are not aware about the preservation process; even they don't know about proper using process of hand sanitizers. They just rubbed their hands with a few drops of sanitizer and went to work; which basically does not work. In warmer climates, it is highly recommended not to use alcohol-based sanitizers, especially in vehicles in high-temperature areas that do not have air conditioning system.
Alcoholic sanitizers have combustible power. Therefore, it is highly recommended that the peoples working in the kitchen or any kind of flammable areas be especially careful in its use. Children are fascinated by their containers and colors; negligence can lead to accidents or even death. Misuse of sanitizer ingredients can be harmful to our health and the environment. Basically, these chemicals are released by evaporation which has toxic and dangerous effects on the environment. The following are the acute and long-term toxic effects of the ingredients used in our widely used sanitizers.
Acute toxicity
Ethanol: Central nervous system and respiratory depression, lactic acidosis, ketoacidosis, nausea
Isopropanol: Central nervous system and respiratory depression, skin and mucous membrane irritation, lactic acidosis, ketoacidosis, nausea
H2O2 (3%): Mild gastrointestinal and mucosal irritation, vomiting, skin irritation
Chronic toxicity
Ethanol: Cardiac arrhythmia, acute liver injury, myoglobinuria, hypokalemia, hypomagnesemia, hypocalcemia, hypophosphatemia, cardiac arrest and even death
Isopropanol: Ketosis, osmolal gap ketonemia, rhabdomyolysis, myoglobinuria, acute renal failure and even death
H2O2 (3%): Air embolism and even death (in rare cases)
From January to May 2020, the American Association of Poison Control Centers handled 9,504 cases of alcoholic hand sanitizers on children under 12 years of age. According to this organization, very small amounts of alcohol can cause alcohol-related toxicity in children, which can lead to mental confusion, nausea and drowsiness, and in severe cases, death by stopping respiratory activity. In addition, frequent use of hand sanitizers may increase the risk of other viral infections, including the development of anti-microbial resistance. In the overall judicial analysis, special care should be taken in the use of hand sanitizers.

(Dr. Muhammad Torequl Islam is Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacy, BSMRSTU, Gopalganj-8100, Bangladesh. E-mail: [email protected])

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