A young boy in New Jersey suffered burns to his arms and legs after he used what police say was a "spray sanitizer" bought at a local 7-Eleven.
Authorities were alerted after Lauren Michele Gehm posted about first degree burns her son, Dylan, suffered after using the spray on Monday. With parents already worried about the coronavirus outbreak, River Vale police issued a safety alert over the items sold at the retail store and seized all the remaining bottles.
As far as police know, the spray bottles were only sold at the River Vale 7-Eleven, according to Lieutenant John DeVoe.
“While further investigation is underway, our first priority is to make the public aware that they should not use this item if they purchased it at the River Vale 7-Eleven," DeVoe said in a statement.
The skin on Dylan's arms and legs were bright red after he used the spray that allegedly contained irritants, according to photos Gehm posted online.
Some of the ingredients listed on the bottle included chemical compounds like Octyl decyl dimethyl ammonium chloride and Dioctyl dimethyl ammonium chloride, which can cause severe skin burns, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information.
Gehm said her son had to be covered in ointment and put on an IV.
It was unclear who produced the spray bottles and an investigation is ongoing, police said. Late on Tuesday, police announced that 7-Eleven owner Manisha Bharade had been arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of a child and deceptive business practices.
Police said that Bharade mixed commercially available foaming sanitizer, which was not meant for resale, with water and packaged it in aftermarket bottles. An apparent chemical reaction from the mixture caused the burns on Gehm's son as well as three other boys around the same age.
Fourteen bottles of the mixture were sold, police said, five of which were turned over to police.
The use of hand sanitizer and other cleaning products has exponentially grown amid the COVID-19 outbreak around the country, creating a shortage which even led to some making their own hand sanitizers.
In New Jersey, 11 people have been tested positive with the coronavirus as of Monday night. Around the tri-state area, a total of 156 people have been confirmed with the potentially deadly virus and the number is expected to keep rising.