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Isopropyl alcohol-containing hand rubs are widely used in healthcare for hand decontamination. Ten healthy adult volunteers applied a commercially available isopropyl alcohol-containing hand rub to their hands every 10 min over a 4 h period. Blood isopropyl alcohol levels were measured at the beginning and end of the study. At the end of the study, measurable blood isopropyl alcohol levels (range 0.5-1.8 mg/l) were recorded in nine subjects. We confirmed that isopropyl alcohol could be absorbed through the intact skin of adult humans. The social and medical implications are discussed.

Original publication




Journal article


J Hosp Infect

Publication Date





287 - 290


2-Propanol, Adult, Female, Hand Disinfection, Humans, Imidazoles, Male, Middle Aged, Skin Absorption, Soaps, Solvents