Will hand sanitizer affect my alcohol test results?

In light of COVID-19, hand sanitizer can be found everywhere we visit. We are advised to use it on entering shops, when visiting restaurants and bars, and when hand washing is not an option. With its widespread use, our Customer Services team are being regularly asked whether it will interfere with alcohol test results. We can reassure you that the use of alcohol-based hand sanitiser, when used as instructed (not consumed and not directly applied to the hair), won’t affect your hair or nail alcohol test results; even when used excessively.

Two types of alcohol are used in alcohol-based hand sanitizers. The most common type contains between 60% and 95% ethanol. The other type of alcohol-based hand sanitizer contains isopropyl alcohol. In addition to alcohol, hand sanitizers also contain additional antiseptics, such as chlorhexidine and quaternary ammonium derivatives, emollients and gelling agents to reduce skin dryness and irritation, a small amount of sterile or distilled water, and fragrance or foaming agents.

Our nail alcohol testing analyzes samples for EtG. These EtG biomarkers become trapped within the keratin fibres along the length of the nail providing a detection period of up to 12 months.

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