Rocky Mountain High (Sort Of)
(CBS) -- Health officials on Tuesday reported the rise of a troubling new trend in Southland emergency rooms: teenagers being treated for alcohol poisoning after drinking hand sanitizer.
John Brooks reports teens are using a "relatively new" method of gleaning alcohol from the popular over-the-counter product.
At least six Southland teens have been treated for drinking hand sanitizer -- which is 62 percent ethyl alcohol -- after zero cases were reported last year.
No one took Chemistry class, did they?
Dr. Cyrus Rangan, chief of toxicology for the Los Angeles County Health Department, said kids have figured out how to distill the alcohol and turn it into a 120-proof drink.
120 proof? Pikers!"Very often, they will get drunk at home or at a party or something like that, and they won't necessarily be coming to the emergency department, but because of the potency of these products, some of these children will get very highly intoxicated and require a visit to the emergency department," said Rangan.
While there have been cases in recent years of people suffering alcohol poisoning after drinking straight hand sanitizer, Rangan said the method of using salt to separate alcohol from the sanitizer is "like drinking shots of hard liquor".
Not quite. Most "hard liquor" is 80 proof.
Deaths have been reported in other states from mixing mouthwash and hand sanitizer together.
Gotta watch out for the methanol and rubbing alcohol that is also in these products.
Rangan advises parents to keep hand sanitizer safely stored when not in use and to consider buying foam sanitizers or other products that don't list ethanol as a primary ingredient.
Well, it's probably better than letting them drink beer under adult supervision...
Posted by: Deacon Blues