There are over 100 “dangerous” hand sanitizers that are being recalled by the Food and Drug Administration.
What We Know:
- The FDA has previously warned about two dozen hand sanitizers that possibly contained toxic wood alcohol. According to the FDA’S latest update, as of August 4, 115 products have been introduced in the market that have tested positive for methanol. Methanol is a substance usually used to create fuel and antifreeze and the FDA stated that such chemicals could be poisonous if absorbed through the skin and fatal if ingested.
- The majority of the hand sanitizers containing methanol were produced in Mexico. Recalls have been issued by the distributor but the agency has recommended for recalls to nearly all of the products and has also issued import alerts to halt them from entering the country.
- In July, FDA Commissioner, Dr. Stephen M. Hahn stated, “Consumers must also be vigilant about which hand sanitizers they use, and for their health and safety we urge consumers to immediately stop using all hand sanitizers on the FDA’s list of dangerous hand sanitizer products”.
- The FDA is insisting costumers stop using any hand sanitizer products from the listed manufacturers even if the product lot number is not listed in the recall. This is because “some manufacturers recall only certain but not all of their hand sanitizer products,” the FDA advised.
- The FDA has been quickly adding to its continuously updated list, which began in June when it was observed an increase in hand sanitizers that supposedly contained ethanol but tested positive for methanol contamination. The FDA has associated at least one death due to the contaminated hand sanitizer.
- In some cases, the toxic chemical does not seem to be on the label, the FDA stated. However, “methanol is not an acceptable ingredient in any drug, including hand sanitizer, even if methanol is listed as an ingredient on the product label,” FDA commented.
- According to the FDA, exposure to the chemical can or may have an effect like vomiting, nausea, blurred vision, headache, coma, seizures, permanent damage to the nervous system, or death. Customers having symptoms should seek “immediate treatment,” the FDA urged.
The investigation into the methanol contamination is continuing. The full list of recalled products, which will be updated as more information becomes available, can be viewed on the FDA website.