There's a new trend among teens looking for a buzz, doctors say, and it surrounds an unlikely household item designed to keep us germ-free: ethanol-based hand sanitizer.
Teenagers are using it this stuff to get high, according to health officials. Poison control centers nationwide say reports are on the rise.
The big issue here is the alcohol content, says Dr. Robert J. Geller, a medical toxicologist and Emory University pediatrician.
He says these sanitizers "are actually products that are 60% ethanol which means they are 120 proof," and "if you drink 2 ounces of it, it's like drinking 3 ounces of 80-proof tequila."
In California, where word of the trend first surfaced, there have been reports of 60 teenagers exposed since 2010, says Dr. Cyrus Rangan, toxicologist and assistant medical director of California Poison Control.
In recent months L.A. County doctors noticed an increase in cases, so last week they asked the California Poison Control Center to run numbers to see if data matched their instincts.
But nationwide statistics haven't been compiled, so CNN asked the American Association of Poison Control Centers check their database.
Turns out the number of cases around the country are going up too.
Last year there were 622 calls involving cases where teenagers reported exposure to ethanol-based hand sanitizer, according to the AAPCC. So far this year, they've already received 203 calls.
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