Relax, New York — Your Kids Probably Aren’t Getting Drunk On Hand Sanitizers


There’s good news, New York: despite what the Internet wants you to believe, your kids probably aren’t getting shitfaced off hand sanitizers.

We didn’t say they’re not getting shitfaced, just that they’re doing it the old fashion way and aren’t part of the current “trend” of teenagers using sanitation products to get drunk.

The national media has jumped on a story out of California about an alarming number of kids getting alcohol poisoning from ingesting hand sanitizers. Health officials in New York, however, tell the Voice that if kids using hand sanitizers to get drunk is a trend, it’s not one that’s found its way to the Empire State — that they know of, anyway.

Most hand sanitizers are made up of about 62-percent ethyl alcohol,
which — if ingested — can get a person pretty hammered. Unfortunately,
it could also kill you.

In California, kids have figured out a way to use salt to separate
the alcohol from the rest of the chemicals in common hand sanitizers and
use it to get wasted.

According to a report in the L.A. Times, the California Poison
Control System’s received 60 reports of teenagers drinking hand
sanitizer since 2010. Since March, there have been 16 cases of teenagers
requiring medical attention after ingesting hand sanitizer, presumably
to get wasted.

Officials at the New York State Department of Health tell the Voice
they haven’t seen a spike similar to California’s. In fact, the official
we spoke with says he hasn’t heard of any cases of kids needing medical
attention because they were poisoned while using hand sanitizer to get
drunk. He adds, however, that doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened — just
that it hasn’t happened frequently enough for officials to deem it a

So relax, New York — you don’t have to lock your Purell up with the Jim Beam…yet.

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