The popular alcohol-based hand sanitizers are convenient but research does not show them to be more effective than hand washing with soap. In fact, even the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends hand washing first, and the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers only if hand washing is not available.
Because of their high alcohol content, hand sanitizers should not be used around open flames such as cigarette lighters.
None of the ingredients used in hand sanitizer is likely to be toxic when used occasionally, but used multiple times a day, particularly with children, real concerns arise. Furthermore, chronic use of hand sanitizers is likely to result in skin irritation.