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I read a article that mentions the temperature would have to reach 300* in order to be combustible.The article also mentions that most cars sitting in the sun for long periods of time can reach about 150* .
The wife bought a whole bunch of those little bottles of sanitizers from Bath & Body right before the pandemic hit ,she keeps one in her purse and I keep one under the armrest compartment .
Wipes are a good alternative but dries up if unused .
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I read a article that mentions the temperature would have to reach 300* in order to be combustible.The article also mentions that most cars sitting in the sun for long periods of time can reach about 150* .
The wife bought a whole bunch of those little bottles of sanitizers from Bath & Body right before the pandemic hit ,she keeps one in her purse and I keep one under the armrest compartment .
Wipes are a good alternative but dries up if unused .
in the above video link it mentions that temperatures reached only 95 degrees. I think the venting supported ignition.


It shows serious damage to the drivers side door of a car caused by “hand sanitizer igniting in a hot vehicle that reached 95 degrees Fahrenheit inside the vehicle.”
 

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As-usual, be cautions of many of today's wildfire-like social media - or even traditional media - pass-alongs. These are low-hanging fruit that often prey on both our worries about the current social situation as well as tend to sensationalize:


With that said......

Is it possible?

Yes.

Is it likely?

In my personal experience, no.

Most health-care professionals I know (and I know a lot - my wife and I both went through medical school in the late-90s/early-oughts :p; she remains a licensed pediatrician, and I'm currently a basic-science researcher, so our friend-group practically since our undergrad days are all in the biomedical sciences) have had bottles of Purell sitting in their vehicles in-perpetuity even well before SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 became household names. None of our friends or even acquaintances have ever reported such a problem, and we've certainly had various sized bottles in our personal vehicles for, well, going on decades now, in all kinds of environments (including with the vehicle out in open parking lots, for literally days, in South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and Texas sun, smack in the middle of summer during vacation seasons).

It's like those tales - and physical demonstrations - of water-bottles or even external concerns (such as mirrored surfaces from, say, a building across the parking lot: This London skyscraper can melt cars and set buildings on fire and London's Burning: How a Skyscraper Melts Cars) forming lenses and setting the vehicle's interior materials aflame.

Can it happen.

It certainly can.

But it's not going to be an everyday occurrence.

The more practical worry is that in today's pathogen-conscious environment, we're eager to get our hands - and that of our kiddos' - sanitized, and it's worth remembering that everything inside the car will reach excessive temperatures in the hot summer (regardless whether the car is parked in direct sunlight or not, although shading can delay/mitigate more rapid temperature rises). That gel-like sanitizer that you squeeze out into your or your child's hands can cause quite a bit of discomfort, or even potentially a first-degree burn (translation: like a sunburn). Those of us who are from hotter climates either to the south or the west of the country likely know this already, but for those of us in the north who are not used to having bottles of sanitizer in the car, it's worth remembering now that the sunnier/hotter months are here! :)

While there have been no officially documented report of static discharge igniting hand-sanitizer in-use (this from the WHO, so it's international, not just Stateside or even North-American, and is current at least as of a month ago, when I last checked), it is nevertheless prudent to remember that particularly the off-brand and newer entries to-market are even higher in alcohol content than the Go-Jo made Purell that's come to define the breed. If you are a smoker or are otherwise using the sanitizer on yourself or your children near open flames (i.e. cooking fire, be it indoors or out), be cognizant of the increased potential to cause actual second/third-degree burns in such a context.

Finally, remember how these gels/liquids work: that the alcohol percentage is a big chunk of that equation - How does hand sanitizer work? - and that this can be negatively impacted by evaporation, which can be hastened with high-temperature storage (and yes, this even applies to that little bottle you've put in your pants pocket - but since that bottle will most likely be used rather quickly and refilled/replaced, it's not as much of a concern as that giant bottle you're keeping in your car's center console).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
As-usual, be cautions of many of today's wildfire-like social media - or even traditional media - pass-alongs. These are low-hanging fruit that often prey on both our worries about the current social situation as well as tend to sensationalize:


With that said......

Is it possible?

Yes.

Is it likely?

In my personal experience, no.

Most health-care professionals I know (and I know a lot - my wife and I both went through medical school in the late-90s/early-oughts :p; she remains a licensed pediatrician, and I'm currently a basic-science researcher, so our friend-group practically since our undergrad days are all in the biomedical sciences) have had bottles of Purell sitting in their vehicles in-perpetuity even well before SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 became household names. None of our friends or even acquaintances have ever reported such a problem, and we've certainly had various sized bottles in our personal vehicles for, well, going on decades now, in all kinds of environments (including with the vehicle out in open parking lots, for literally days, in South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and Texas sun, smack in the middle of summer during vacation seasons).

It's like those tales - and physical demonstrations - of water-bottles or even external concerns (such as mirrored surfaces from, say, a building across the parking lot: This London skyscraper can melt cars and set buildings on fire and London's Burning: How a Skyscraper Melts Cars) forming lenses and setting the vehicle's interior materials aflame.

Can it happen.

It certainly can.

But it's not going to be an everyday occurrence.

The more practical worry is that in today's pathogen-conscious environment, we're eager to get our hands - and that of our kiddos' - sanitized, and it's worth remembering that everything inside the car will reach excessive temperatures in the hot summer (regardless whether the car is parked in direct sunlight or not, although shading can delay/mitigate more rapid temperature rises). That gel-like sanitizer that you squeeze out into your or your child's hands can cause quite a bit of discomfort, or even potentially a first-degree burn (translation: like a sunburn). Those of us who are from hotter climates either to the south or the west of the country likely know this already, but for those of us in the north who are not used to having bottles of sanitizer in the car, it's worth remembering now that the sunnier/hotter months are here! :)

While there have been no officially documented report of static discharge igniting hand-sanitizer in-use (this from the WHO, so it's international, not just Stateside or even North-American, and is current at least as of a month ago, when I last checked), it is nevertheless prudent to remember that particularly the off-brand and newer entries to-market are even higher in alcohol content than the Go-Jo made Purell that's come to define the breed. If you are a smoker or are otherwise using the sanitizer on yourself or your children near open flames (i.e. cooking fire, be it indoors or out), be cognizant of the increased potential to cause actual second/third-degree burns in such a context.

Finally, remember how these gels/liquids work: that the alcohol percentage is a big chunk of that equation - How does hand sanitizer work? - and that this can be negatively impacted by evaporation, which can be hastened with high-temperature storage (and yes, this even applies to that little bottle you've put in your pants pocket - but since that bottle will most likely be used rather quickly and refilled/replaced, it's not as much of a concern as that giant bottle you're keeping in your car's center console).
I rarely use my little container of sanitizer. It is mostly there simply to wash my hands not necessarily fully sanitize them and certainly not from any virus concerns (my hands get dirty occasional from work and often there is no water around). I am not a germaphobe by any stretch of the imagination, so the very small container will probably sit there for multiple years before needing any refill. I will probably just make sure the lid is sealed to reduce vapors.

In terms of hand cleaning, soap and water (used properly) do a better job.
 

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I read a article that mentions the temperature would have to reach 300* in order to be combustible.The article also mentions that most cars sitting in the sun for long periods of time can reach about 150* .
We lived in South Texas for decades with three months of 95-105F temps annually and never had, nor heard of anyone having, issues with hand sanitizer left in the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
We lived in South Texas for years with three months of 95-105F temps annually and never had, nor heard of anyone having, issues with hand sanitizer left in the car.
I never heard about it either and I will not lose sleep over it.
 

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I rarely use my little container of sanitizer. It is mostly there simply to wash my hands not necessarily fully sanitize them and certainly not from any virus concerns (my hands get dirty occasional from work and often there is no water around). I am not a germaphobe by any stretch of the imagination, so the very small container will probably sit there for multiple years before needing any refill. I will probably just make sure the lid is sealed to reduce vapors.

In terms of hand cleaning, soap and water (used properly) do a better job.
Don't worry, I'm not trying to imply that anyone - including you, of-course! - here is a germophobe. Besides, in today's world, there's worse things to be than that. ;)

What I was trying to convey - particularly with my words in that third large paragraph in the middle of my post above - is that there's a lot of stuff out there in both mass media and more traditional media that's aimed at our collective heightened consciousness about germs and pathogens because of SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19. Re-tweets, likes, subscriptions all add to their bottom-line.

In terms of alcohol-based hand-sanitizer, it's not bad stuff. It's just that folks really need to understand what they're good for, and also their potential weaknesses and true safety concerns.

I've always carried a little bottle: moreso after my daughter was born and diaper-changes and on-the-go snacking had become more a part of my daily life. I appreciate it for what it is. :) Like you so aptly pointed out, a ready source of clean water oftentimes isn't available. And as you also noted, not all common pathogens (or, for that matter, other significant health concerns, such as heavy metals or other pollutants, for those of us who engage in certain hobbies) can be defeated by alcohol based hand-sanitizers: I don't think that there's a parent on this board who won't cringe - and for good reason - when the word "norovirus" is uttered. :ROFLMAO:

3969


I think that if anything good is to come out of the current pandemic is that there's a renewed focus on good hygiene in-general. SARS-CoV-2 is spread in much the same way as "common" seasonal influenza, which, despite our lackadaisical attitude towards it for decades, remains a shocking killer when we actually look at the numbers.

We should have been more conscious about our sanitary practices all along - and there's no need to be a germophobe to either be conscious of that or to employ such practices: only common sense and a true understanding of just how much of the world can really put a hurting on us. :)
 

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Oh, and for full-disclosure......

We've always had bottles of Purell sitting around the house. Months before any media reports of any "SARS-like pneumonia" surfaced anywhere, we'd already received a case of the 12-ounce pumps from my FIL (who is also a pediatrician, and only recently gave up his medical license, after having sold his practice several decades ago). :)

I don't think I've ever been without a backpack or pocket bottle of the stuff ever since med school, and certainly never without the 1-ounce travel "jellys" carabinered to my jeans, since my daughter was born.... :D Yeah, I Dad Hard.

3971


I usually refill the little 2-ounce squeeze bottle in my car once a month, but I'm now closer to twice-a-month. Our ZIP has seen a very high incidence of positive tests in the NE-Ohio area, and I'm the one doing most of the household chores, so I've been pretty conscientious about high-touch areas such as gas-station, ATM keypads, etc.

It's hard, I'll confess, because I'm a "5(5)-second rule" type of guy. :D

That said, at the same time, combining what little medical background I have with what I work with daily, it's also paradoxically really not that hard to just pay a little more attention as I accomplish my daily errands. All it takes is a little mindfulness. ;)
 

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So, the photo in that piece has been traced to originating in Portugal and the initial news station reporting the story in America has sort of retracted the story.

From WLFD-
"While we never made the claim that the photo utilized was from our district or from an exploding container of hand sanitizer, it has become clear that that inference and speculation made is seem as though it was. It was to illustrate a door fire resulting from contact with open flame which was the center of our post."
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
So, the photo in that piece has been traced to originating in Portugal and the initial news station reporting the story in America has retracted the story.
Best award in journalism.

I will say I have never gotten caught up in fake news, until this. This was such a bizarre but non politically controversial news item, I thought why in the world would a news organization pass fake news along of this type so I figured as bizarre as it is it must be true.

It just goes to show, you live long enough ...

Thanks for the update.
 

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^ Same.

So, the photo in that piece has been traced to originating in Portugal and the initial news station reporting the story in America has sort of retracted the story.

From WLFD-
"While we never made the claim that the photo utilized was from our district or from an exploding container of hand sanitizer, it has become clear that that inference and speculation made is seem as though it was. It was to illustrate a door fire resulting from contact with open flame which was the center of our post."
Yup, the Snopes link I posted above as the lead in my first reply to packout tracked that bit of fake-news in-detail. :)

Best award in journalism.

I will say I have never gotten caught up in fake news, until this. This was such a bizarre but non politically controversial news item, I thought why in the world would a news organization pass fake news along of this type so I figured as bizarre as it is it must be true.

It just goes to show, you live long enough ...

Thanks for the update.
It's OK, and nothing to feel bad about.

In today's world, it's really rather easy to fall prey to such sensationalism, particularly it already plays off of something we all know is possible, like the combination of a nearby building focusing sunlight for a prolonged period of time and the fact that alcohol-based hand-sanitizers are known to be flammable, and have caused injuries because of that very fact.

The best hope against this is that there are others in the community who know more and comes forward to dispel such myths.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
So, the photo in that piece has been traced to originating in Portugal and the initial news station reporting the story in America has sort of retracted the story.

From WLFD-
"While we never made the claim that the photo utilized was from our district or from an exploding container of hand sanitizer, it has become clear that that inference and speculation made is seem as though it was. It was to illustrate a door fire resulting from contact with open flame which was the center of our post."
What an absurd immature journalistic response from WLFD! it has become clear... No sh-t Sherlock. You could not have figured that out prior to publication? The entire story concept was a mess from the beginning.
 

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What an absurd immature journalistic response from WLFD! it has become clear... No sh-t Sherlock. You could not have figured that out prior to publication? The entire story concept was a mess from the beginning.
The full reply from WLFD was more detailed and professional - with a full mea-culpa at the end.

It appears in full-text in the Snopes link that I originally cited in my first reply to you, above.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The full reply from WLFD was more detailed and professional - with a full mea-culpa at the end.

It appears in full-text in the Snopes link that I originally cited in my first reply to you, above.
This just annoys the heck out of me. Someone learns of a legitimate fire hazard and extrapolates to a current situation which in fact has little to no relevance. The original fire hazard of storing high alcohol content based products outside of an approved fire cabinet with possibly a sprinkler system in place (depending on the volume) is in fact legitimate. Extrapolating this to a small container in a vehicle is to say the least absurd. The fire department certainly knows better and should never have touched this story. They should instead have focused their concerns relating to alcohol and covid to any businesses in their jurisdiction that may now due to covid, store larger amounts of high alcohol content based products. Publishing the photo was wrong but so was the story content along with its warning applications.

The problem with that, safety experts have warned, is it could create a fire hazard, especially when large amounts of hand sanitizer are being stored in areas that weren't designed to hold such a highly flammable product. While most hard liquor clocks in at 40 percent ethanol by volume, hand sanitizer ranges from 60 to 95 percent. "They may have introduced things that compromise previously put in place protections," Guy Colonna, director of NFPA's Engineering Technical Services division, says in the video.



When more than 5 gallons of hand sanitizer is being stored, the provisions found in NFPA 30, Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code, apply. These provisions require, for example, storage in a flammable liquids cabinet or in an area protected by an automatic sprinkler system, depending on how much liquid is being stored and the environment they reside.

Watch the full interview with Guy below.
 
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