The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning consumers about several brands of hand sanitizer containing methanol, a nondrinking type of alcohol. If ingested or applied to the skin, methanol can be toxic — causing headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, kidney failure, coma and death
In mid-June, the FDA listed nine hand sanitizer products from Mexican manufacturer Eskbiochem SA de CV. Methanol was first found when testing samples of Lavar Gel and CleanCare No Germ. Lavar Gel contains 81% methanol and CleanCare No Germ contains 28% methanol. According to the FDA, these products shouldn’t be used under any circumstances.
FDA Warns Against Toxic Hand Sanitizers
The products originally listed are:
- All-Clean Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-002-01)
- Esk Biochem Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-007-01)
- CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-008-04)
- Lavar 70 Gel Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-006-01)
- The Good Gel Antibacterial Gel Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-010-10)
- CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-005-03)
- CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-009-01)
- CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-003-01)
- Saniderm Advanced Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-001-01)
The five additional hand sanitizers that should be avoided are:
- Grupo Insoma’s Hand Sanitizer Gel Unscented 70% Alcohol (NDC: 75744-0200-3; 75744-0200-4; 75744-0201-5; 75744-0202-1; 75744-0250-1; 75744-0250-2; 75744-0500-1; 75744-1000-1; 75744-1000-3; 75744-1001-1)
- Transliquid Technologies’ Mystic Shield Protection hand sanitizer (NDC: 75477-435-02; 75477-435-10; 75477-435-12; 75477-435-25; 75477-435-50; 75477-534-10)
- Soluciones Cosmeticas SA de CV’s Bersih Hand Sanitizer Gel Fragrance Free (NDC: 75165-003-02; 75165-004-01; 75165-005-01; 75165-006-01; 75165-008-01; 75165-250-01; 75165-600-01)
- Soluciones Cosmeticas SA de CV’s Antiseptic Alcohol 70% Topical Solution hand sanitizer (no NDC numbers listed)
- Tropicosmeticos SA de CV’s Britz Hand Sanitizer Ethyl Alcohol 70% (NCD: 76676-402-01; 77676-402-02; 77676-402-03; 77676-402-04; 77676-402-05; 77676-402-06; 77676-402-07; 77676-402-08; 77676-402-09; 77676-402-10; 77676-402-11; 77676-402-12; 77676-402-13; 77676-402-14; 77676-402-16; 77676-402-17; 77676-402-18; 77676-402-19; 77676-402-20)
Skin contact is only part of the problem. With the president suggesting (“sarcastically” or not) about injecting sanitizer into the human body, the FDA has come upon cases of people consuming certain hand sanitizers.
“The agency is aware of adults and children ingesting hand sanitizer products contaminated with methanol that has led to recent adverse events including blindness, hospitalizations and death,” the FDA said in a statement.
The agency states that if you have come into contact with hand sanitizer containing methanol and have experienced an adverse reaction — regardless of whether or not you have ingested it or simply applied it to the skin — you should seek medical treatment immediately.
For those that do have any of the listed products, the FDA advises you to stop using and dispose of them in the proper hazardous waste containers. Consumers should avoid flushing or pouring products down the drain.
In both notices, the FDA also reminded consumers to wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. However, if handwashing isn’t an option, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% ethanol.
For a full list of the sanitizers, visit the FDA site.