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Journal of Toxicology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 959070, 7 pages
Research Article

Short Communication: Is Ethanol-Based Hand Sanitizer Involved in Acute Pancreatitis after Excessive Disinfection?—An Evaluation with the Use of PBPK Model

1Department of Cosmetic, Biocide, and Tatoo Products, French Health Products Safety Agency (Afssaps), 143-147 Boulevard Anatole France, 93285 Saint-Denis Cedex, France
2Department of Risk Assessment, French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Safety (Anses), 24-31 Avenue du Général Leclerc, 94701 Maisons-Alfort Cedex, France
3Département de Santé Environnementale et Santé au Travail, Faculté de Médecine, Université de Montréal, Montréal, QC, Canada 3J7 H3C

Received 20 October 2011; Accepted 6 February 2012

Academic Editor: Marina V. Evans

Copyright © 2012 Céline Huynh-Delerme et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


An occupational physician reported to the French Health Products Safety Agency (Afssaps) a case of adverse effect of acute pancreatitis (AP) in a teaching nurse, after multiple demonstrations with ethanol-based hand sanitizers (EBHSs) used in a classroom with defective mechanical ventilation. It was suggested by the occupational physician that the exposure to ethanol may have produced a significant blood ethanol concentration and subsequently the AP. In order to verify if the confinement situation due to defective mechanical ventilation could increase the systemic exposure to ethanol via inhalation route, a physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modeling was used to predict ethanol blood levels. Under the worst case scenario, the simulation by PBPK modeling showed that the maximum blood ethanol concentration which can be predicted of 5.9 mg/l is of the same order of magnitude to endogenous ethanol concentration (mean = 1.1 mg/L; median = 0.4 mg/L; range = 0–35 mg/L) in nondrinker humans (Al-Awadhi et al., 2004). The present study does not support the likelihood that EBHS leads to an increase in systemic ethanol concentration high enough to provoke an acute pancreatitis.