If you don’t have soap and water available, disinfectant for the hands is fast and easy. However, it’s not actually safe. It can actually be harmful to the skin. The main ingredient, triclosan, found in disinfectants actually kills all bacteria on the skin along with the good bacteria. The good bacteria helps increase immunity so you’re actually doing the opposite of what you’re trying to do.
By using disinfectant, you are also increasing the body’s capability of letting BPA (Bisphenol-A) absorb easier into the skin. This is a compound found in numerous plastics found in food packaging and other hard plastics. BPA acts like a hormone and can disrupt the endocrine system from proper functioning. When this occurs, it can lead to hormonal imbalances within the body, cause heart disease, infertility and increase risk of cancer and diabetes. This can also lead to developmental issues in children according to studies by the University of Missouri. BPA basically leaks into foods from plastic dishes or food packaging. When you clean your hands with disinfectant before eating, you then can increase the absorption of this harmful chemical more than 100 times. You’re basically getting a double dose.
Also note that receipts from cash registers is also full of germs and BPA. After handling it after you have cleaned your hands, handling those receipts can also increase the absorption of BPA.
Stop using hand disinfectant altogether unless you absolutely have to. Unfortunately, there isn’t a better alternative so try to stick with soap and water as much as possible.