Dangerous Hand Sanitizer and Twitter to Inform Doctors

The FDA Warns Consumers About Poisonous Hand Sanitizer

Good morning, and welcome to the start of another week. It turns out that Twitter may be useful beyond giving purpose to internet trolls. Also, you may want to put down your phone for a minute and check to see which hand sanitizer you have — because some are now considered dangerous. 

Sorry if that’s a dreary start to your week, but, hey, at least we’re honest.

Maybe Ease Up with the Hand Sanitizer

If there’s been one business that has benefited from COVID-19, it’s hand sanitizer. For weeks, stores around the nation were sold out as folks wanted to stock up on this gelatinous germ repellent.

However, the FDA released a warning that certain brands of hand sanitizer may contain methanol — a wood alcohol that can be toxic if absorbed through the skin. Of course, these sanitizers shouldn’t be your first line of defense. The CDC suggests washing your hands regularly with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds. If you don’t have access to soap and water, then using a methanol-free hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% ethanol (safe alcohol) is advised. 

Click here for a full list of companies whose sanitizers tested positive for methanol.

Twitter Informs About Statin Side Effects

Do not go to Twitter for medical advice. However, it turns out that the popular social media platform provided JAMA researchers with meaningful insights about statin use.

The study looked at 11,852 tweets that mentioned statins — a drug used to lower cholesterol — and about half of the posts (5,201) were made by an identifiable poster (e.g., patient, healthcare provider) and contained information such as personal beliefs, attitudes towards the drug, and personal experiences and adverse effects.

This discovery is significant as some users may feel more comfortable posting about their experience online than talking to a doctor. Therefore, this study implies that social media can serve as a learning tool for researchers and healthcare providers to help improve the patient experience.


Andrew Gutman

Andrew Gutman

Andrew Gutman is the Managing Editor of MedShadow and a former Senior Associate Editor for Muscle & Fitness. He writes about exercise and nutrition for Business Insider, Insider Health, Gear Patrol, and Men's Health.


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