Associate Professor Stewart Walker
Walker, Stewart (Associate Professor)
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Project description

During the COVID-19 pandemic it is expected that everybody should use hand-sanitiser prior to entering a shop or building. We are subjecting ourselves to regular exposure of a range of chemicals in these concoctions. “Everyday precautions ‘…use alcohol based hand sanitisers.” ( 05/03/2021) The SA Government SafeWorkSA agency website states:- ‘Some of the ingredients in alcohol-based hand sanitisers are hazardous chemicals. You may need a license to keep a dangerous substance in order to manufacture hand sanitiser. ...’ 05/03/2021 The regular exposure to the chemicals in sanitisers will be investigated. By analysis of the chemical composition and the volume of ‘squirts’ from a range of sanitisers at the entrance to shops and buildings an indication of the ‘dose’ of chemicals applied to hands during a range of shopping behaviours will be accumulated. The American Environment Protection Agency has published regulations/guidelines for the potential chemical composition of two distinct types of sanitisers – those suitable for sanitising hands and those to be used only for disinfecting surfaces. When shopping people could be exposed to both due to hand sanitising and due to sanitising shopping trolleys. Exposure will also vary depending on shopping behaviour – i.e. single shop or multiple shops in shopping centre. By determining the nature and amount of chemicals used the potential health impact of dermal absorption of these chemicals will be considered as will other means of exposure – including inhalation of vapours and oral ingestion from touching food with sanitised hands.


Assoc Prof Kirstin Ross

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