Are hand sanitisers flammable?


A surveillance footage shows a man who had drenched his hair and bare body with hand sanitisers bursting into flames seconds after being tased by the Police.

This was reported by the New York Post.

The report generated reactions, part of which are hand sanitisers flammable?

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The emergence of coronavirus brought hand sanitiser to the fore as part of the preventive methods to reduce transmission.

There are two broad categories of the product; non-alcohol-based hand sanitisers (NABHS) and alcohol-based hand sanitisers (ABHS).

The US Center for Disease Control says alcohol-based hand sanitisers contain ethyl alcohol that readily evaporates at room temperature into an ignitable vapour is considered a flammable liquid.

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These alcohol-based hand sanitisers predominate in health care settings given their low cost and efficacy of reducing infectious transmission, a report published on the National Center for Biotechnology Information notes.

A fact-check notes that, even though alcohol-based hand sanitisers are flammable, they do not self combust “the flammable ingredients in hand sanitiser would need to be at much higher temperatures, over 350°C, to combust without a spark”.

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