Is rubbing alcohol a harmful chemical?

Rubbing Alcohol

Paraphrased from Wikipedia.org entries:

Rubbing Alcohol is not necessarily a "harmful" chemical, but is one that should be used with caution, and as directed on the packaging1.

Rubbing alcohol is sometimes consumed by those who cannot afford or cannot legally buy beverage alcohol (ethanol). The minimum age of 21 to purchase alcohol in the United States does not apply to rubbing alcohol. Rubbing alcohol products that contain methyl alcohol (methanol) can cause blindness, permanent disabling illness, or death when consumed1. Isopropyl alcohol may also be partly metabolized to acetone, which is toxic to the liver.

Rubbing alcohol should be used in a well-ventilated area. Some cautions go so far as to say protective gloves should be worn while using it. Poisoning can occur from ingestion, inhalation, or absorption of rubbing alcohol1.

Isopropyl alcohol vapor is heavier than air and is highly flammable with a very wide combustible range2.

Mixing rubbing alcohol with pool chlorine can result in a Haloform reaction, generating lots of heat and boiling off its products as excess gas. If this chemical reaction is done inside a closed plastic container, the gas can build up until it ruptures violently. This can pose a serious risk of injury as the chemicals (such as bleach) and shrapnel from the container are thrown outward by the explosion1.

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubbing_alcohol

2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isopropyl_alcohol

Rubbing alcohol when consumed in a large quanity causes your blood sugar levels to drop, which if severe enough could be fatal.

Yes, if you drink it or smell it excessively. Using it to santize and clean up things is all right, however, don't spend too much time with it. If it is necessary to use this around the house, make sure to keep doors and windows open if possible!

I am adding to the other answers. Do not drink or put in the eyes, which can cause blindness

It is very strong fume and can literally take your breath away. Isocol rubbing alcohol is able to be used to clean make up brushes. Wash them with it thoroughly, flick dry away from your face. It will kill bacteria and be very clean. Isocol is from alcohol base and can kill bacteria on the skin can be used for drying up pimples. DO NOT PUT IT IN OR NEAR YOUR EYES!!!!!!!!If you do get any chemical in your eyes immediately get fresh running water to it for 15 minutes and contact the hospital emergency department.

it depends. just use it for external use and whatever you do , don't swallow it, smell it, or get it in you eyes.