FDA Expands List of Hand Sanitizers to Avoid Due to Methanol Risk with More Being Recommended for Recall
Jul 11, 2020
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Food and Drug Administration has expanded the number of hand sanitizers to avoid because they may contain methanol, a toxic substance when absorbed through skin or ingested.
The FDA now lists on a chart 59 varieties of hand sanitizer that should be avoided, some which have already been recalled, and other products being recommended for recalls as they may contain the potentially fatal ingredient.
All of the products in the FDA's latest methanol update appear to have been produced in Mexico.
The FDA says it has "seen a sharp increase in hand sanitizer products that are labeled to contain ethanol (also known as ethyl alcohol) but that have tested positive for methanol contamination."
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In June, the FDA warned consumers not to use nine kinds of hand sanitizers because they may contain methanol, and added to the list in early July.
"Methanol is not an acceptable active ingredient for hand sanitizers and must not be used due to its toxic effects," the FDA said, noting its investigation of methanol in certain hand sanitizers is ongoing.
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Methanol is used industrially as a solvent, pesticide and alternative fuel source, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Exposure to it can cause nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system and death.
The FDA is warning people not to use certain hand sanitizer products due to the presence of a toxic and potentially deadly substance called methanol.
The CDC says hand-washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is the best way to clean your hands, but when that's not an option, the agency recommends using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
Children who accidentally ingest hand sanitizer and young people who drink hand sanitizer as an alcohol substitute are at an increased risk for methanol poisoning, the FDA said.
Hand sanitizer has been a popular product to combat the coronavirus since February, and many new types have entered the market after shortages of brands including Purell.
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Avoid these hand sanitizers that may contain methanol
The FDA is advising consumers not to use the following hand sanitizers because tests found them to contain methanol or that they were "purportedly made at the same facility as products in which FDA has tested and confirmed methanol contamination." The FDA also says to avoid sanitizers from the companies.
Find more information, including the product code where available on the FDA website.