Pharmacies in Sweden have taken hand sanitizers off their shelves after they discovered that teenagers had been intoxicating themselves by drinking these.
“Young people come in to the emergency room with alcohol poisoning and say they have drunk hand sanitizer, ” police official Stefan Sund told public broadcaster Swedish Radio on Wednesday.
“The youths are mixing drinks from sanitizer gels and orange juice, ” he added.
Pharmacy chain Apoteket AB asked all staff across Sweden to be extra careful when vending alcoholic disinfectants, while other chains said they intended to follow suit.
“At the same time, we are in one of the worst cold and influenza waves, so demand for these products is very high. It’s problematic since one does not know what the customer intends to use the products for, ” said Andreas Rosenlund, spokesperson for the pharmacy chain Kronans Apotek.
Hand sanitizers must contain at least 70 percent alcohol in order to fully disinfect.