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A Case of Duh

  • Feb. 1st, 2007 at 7:18 AM
BOSTON (Reuters) - At least two people have become intoxicated by drinking hand-sanitizing gels, a potentially deadly habit, doctors reported on Wednesday.

A prison inmate and a hospitalized alcoholic both were treated for poisoning from the gels, which contain alcohol -- but not the same kind as found in beverages.

Evidently people misunderstand the labels that show the gels, foams and liquids contain alcohol, the doctors said in separate letters to the
New England Journal of Medicine. Cases of people drinking the hand gels because of their alcohol content have not previously been reported in major medical journals.

"The Maryland Poison Center was called about a 49-year-old, usually calm prison inmate who was described as being 'red-eyed,' 'loony,' 'combative,' and 'intoxicated, lecturing everyone about life'," Dr. Suzanne Doyon of the Maryland Poison Center and Dr. Christopher Welsh of the University of Maryland School of Medicine wrote in one letter.

"Other inmates and staff reported seeing this prisoner drinking from a gallon container of Purell hand sanitizer over the course of the evening. "

In the second case, a 43-year-old man with alcoholism was treated for mysterious chest pains and other symptoms.

"Before those results were obtained, the patient was seen in the bathroom drinking the alcohol-based hand wash from its dispenser," Dr. Ashkan Emadi and Dr. LeAnn Coberly of the University of Cincinnati wrote.

"When asked why he ingested the hand cleaner, he pointed to the label, which read, 'Active ingredient 63 percent v/v isopropyl alcohol.' He explained that this percentage is higher than that in vodka," they added.

It only takes a small amount of isopropanol to kill, by depressing the heart and central nervous system, they wrote.

They suggested that makers of the hand gels change the labeling.

I suggest that if people are stupid enough to drink hand soap then perhaps this is another example of the wonders of natural selection.

Thin the herd, people.


shannonsays wrote:
Feb. 1st, 2007 01:43 pm (UTC)
they're being petitioned to change the warning so that kids don't drink it too. fyi.
king_cool_paul wrote:
Feb. 1st, 2007 03:24 pm (UTC)
Have you ever tasted liquid soap, like when you're in the shower or something? It takes really, really awful. I submit that children who still drink a bottle of hand soap, even if it tastes like death, are getting what they deserve.

Oooooooooh! And this coming from the guy who is going to be a new daddy! Someone call child services on me ;)
shannonsays wrote:
Feb. 1st, 2007 03:29 pm (UTC)
it's not the hand soap, though, it's the hand sanitizer gel. it's different.

not that i've tasted it.

but regardless, kids are gonna taste things and put them in their mouth. it's part of how they explore the world around them. no changing that. so the petition is to add a warning label to regard it like you would other harmful chemicals.

btw, i totally have a new album i need to send you.
king_cool_paul wrote:
Feb. 1st, 2007 04:00 pm (UTC)
That which does not kill me makes me stronger. Or gives me good hallucinations.

What do you want to send me? What? WHAT!?!?
shannonsays wrote:
Feb. 1st, 2007 05:03 pm (UTC)
i can't tell you. not till i get my box. *ppppttttt*
king_cool_paul wrote:
Feb. 1st, 2007 05:06 pm (UTC)
Oh fine. Be that way.

karenthecroccy wrote:
Feb. 1st, 2007 04:57 pm (UTC)
haha, epi_lj linked this on his page and I basically said the same thing you did :)
king_cool_paul wrote:
Feb. 1st, 2007 05:01 pm (UTC)
And this reason, along with many others, is why we get along so well ;)
nebulous_blue wrote:
Feb. 1st, 2007 10:48 pm (UTC)
Yunno...people are stupid. This has become my daily affirmation. The exceptions are few and far between.

I have become way too cynical for my age.

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