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Severe Burns on a
Man's Hands Because His Cigarette Ignited Hand Sanitizer Gel Fiction!
Summary of the eRumor: The eRumor appears to be from
Chevron and warns about the possibility that hand sanitizer gel could
ignite on your hands. It shows pictures of a man who allegedly
experienced that during a cigarette break. The eRumor shows a
picture of Purell brand hand sanitizer and warns to not get your hands
near a flame before fully rubbing the gel into your skin.
The Truth: This story is a hoax.
There is no documented case of anyone experiencing burns to the hands
after using hand sanitizer.
Johnson and Johnson, the parent company of the makers of Purell, told
TruthOrFiction.com that the circulated email is not authentic but that
they do not know who originated it.
Chevron told TruthOrFiction.com that they were not aware of its origins
either and that it did not reflect any official statement from the
The eRumor falsely claims to have a Chevron copyright from 2005.
That is doubtful because this story started circulating on the Internet
in mid-January, 2007. There is no previous evidence of it.
The eRumor circulates as a PDF attachment, which was created on January
16 and may be when the eRumor originated.
A spokesperson for Johnson and Johnson also said, however, that Purell,
which is 62 percent alcohol, is very flammable and should be kept away
from flame. The company has not heard of any cases where the
product has ignited after being rubbed on the hands and noted that when
rubbed on the hands properly would probably not ignite.
In 1998 the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration studied the safety of a
particular brand of ethanol-based gel hand cleaner, the Sanitizer Gel
Dispensing System. The conclusion was that the gel did not
spontaneously ignite when exposed to elevated temperatures and even when
it was lighted into an open flame, it was easily extinguished.
Even putting a full bottle of the product into flames did not result in
A real example of the eRumor as it has
appeared on the Internet:
2 For 1
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