Several rumors and misinformation about coronavirus are doing rounds on social media. The latest rumor suggests that hand sanitizers can kill animals. This rumor was debunked by fact-checking websites Snopes and Truth or Fiction.

Warning the pet owners, a Facebook post stated that hand sanitizer “has the same ingredients as antifreeze” and hence it can kill animals. This post has gone viral on the platform with over 300,000 shares.

Debunking the rumor, Snopes reported that the chemical used in antifreeze is ethylene glycol, which is not present in hand sanitizers.

“It is true that ethylene glycol is very dangerous to pets (and humans) if ingested, even in small quantities, but such a fact is irrelevant to the issue at hand,” the website stated.

The website added that since hand sanitizers are either ethanol- or isopropanol-based, it is possible that a pet can suffer from ethanol poisoning if it consumes the product in large quantities.

“An animal merely licking a recently sanitized hand is not cause for concern,” the website stated.

Fact-checking website Truth or Fiction also stated that ingesting a small bottle of hand sanitizer can have an effect “of a shot of hard liquor.” Hence, merely licking the sanitizer is “not a risk factor cited in this context.”

coronavirus hand sanitizer coronavirus hand sanitizer Photo: Kelly Sikkema - Unsplash