When you’re at the grocery store and you grab a package of chicken and the juice gets on your hands, what do you do? Or, when your kids are playing at the park, what do you do to clean their hands before they dig into their picnic lunch?
If you’re like most people, you probably slap on some hand sanitizer, rub the hands together and go about your business – and you’re not alone! Hand sanitizer is quick, it’s easy and it’s a great way to kill germs when you don’t have easy access to running water and soap.
However, the next time you go to grab a bottle of sanitizer and squirt it on your hands, think twice: It could actually be doing you a lot more harm than good!
The Downside of Hand Sanitizer
You are probably saying to yourself, “How is it possible that something that kills gross, illness-causing germs bad for me?” It’s natural to ask such a question; after all, it doesn’t make any sense that something that was designed to benefit your health could actually be bad for you.
Here’s why hand sanitizer can actually be harmful to your health:
Because It Kills the Bad AND the Good Germs
Sure, hand sanitizer is great for killing those yucky germs and bacteria, like the common cold, the flu and even salmonella; however, while it can get rid of those bad germs, it can actually get rid of the good bacteria that your body needs.
Wait, your body needs bacteria? Yep, it sure does! There are certain bacteria that are actually good for your body. This good bacteria is vital for keeping your immune system in check. It works to battle bad bacteria when it enters your body.
So, when the good bacteria is killed, it can actually lower your immune system, which means that when bad germs and bacteria get into your body, your immune system may not be strong enough to fight them off. As a result, you could end up not only getting sick, but getting sicker than you ever would have if you hadn’t used the hand sanitizer at all.
Another major downside of hand sanitizer? It could increase the amount of Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical that can wreck havoc on your endocrine system – the system that produces hormones, controls how your body functions and helps to maintain your tissues and organs.
Recent studies have shown that high levels of BPA in the body can cause a number of health problems, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes and even infertility, among other things.
So, given the fact that hand sanitizer can kill the good bacteria on your hands and that it can do some pretty serious damage to your endocrine system, which can lead to the development of several health issues, you want to seriously reconsider using the stuff the next time you’re at the grocery store or your kids are playing at the park.