The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has added more hand sanitizers to its growing list of products that contain wood alcohol, which is toxic if absorbed through the skin. More than two dozen various hand sanitizers sold by the Mexico-based companies have been recommended for recall.
What We Know:
- The FDA said it had seen an increase in products containing ethanol, also known as ethyl alcohol, which tested positive for potentially toxic methanol contamination, which can be life-threatening if ingested.
- The correct active ingredient in sanitizers is, in fact, ethanol, the FDA stated. Any sanitizer used should contain at least 60% ethanol. One of the best defenses aside from sanitizers is still hand washing for at least 20 seconds, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.
- States have also reported cases of blindness, hospitalizations, and deaths in adults and children after drinking hand sanitizer products tainted with methanol, the agency said. There are now 55 varieties of hand sanitizers on the FDA’s list of toxic products. Nearly all of them were manufactured in Mexico and contain some traces of Wood alcohol.
- Wood alcohol is used in antifreeze and fuel production. Exposure can also cause nausea, headaches, dizziness, agitation, amnesia, coma, and seizures, according to the CDC.
- These findings were part of the ongoing investigation that the FDA is doing, analyzing hand sanitizers for content. Last month the FDA added nine varieties to the list. Most are made in Mexico.
- “FDA recommends consumers stop using these hand sanitizers and dispose of them immediately in appropriate hazardous waste containers,” the FDA said. “Do not flush or pour these products down the drain.”
Proper hand hygiene is an effective response to Covid-19, the CDC says, and the agency recommends using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol.