"Consumers who have been exposed to hand sanitizer containing methanol should seek immediate treatment."
Hand sanitizer has become increasingly popular amid the global pandemic, but before you go ahead and stock up you might want to avoid purchasing these nine products that potentially contain a fatal substance, according to the FDA.
The United States Food and Drug Administration warned the public that one manufacturer in Mexico is producing sanitizer which contains an ingredient that could be life threatening when absorbed through the skin or ingested.
According to the FDA, hand sanitizer manufactured in Eskbiochem SA de CV contains methanol (wood alcohol). Below are the nine hand sanitizers identified by the FDA:
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 FDA reported that it tested samples of Lavar Gel and CleanCare No Germ. In their findings, Lavar Gel contained 81 percent methanol and no ethyl alcohol, while CleanCare No Germ contained 28 percent methanol.
"Consumers who have been exposed to hand sanitizer containing methanol should seek immediate treatment, which is critical for potential reversal of toxic effects of methanol poisoning," the agency announced. "Substantial methanol exposure can result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death."
Children are at the highest risk for methanol poisoning as they often put their hands in their mouth and could accidentally ingest the sanitizer.
On June 17, the FDA contacted Eskbiochem and asked them to remove those sanitizers from the market. However, the company had not taken any action by the time the FDA made its announcement on June 19.
With the threat of COVID-19 still at large the FDA’s website states, "FDA reminds consumers to wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing one's nose."
The website urges consumers that if they purchase hand sanitizers to make sure the product contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
"FDA remains vigilant and will continue to take action when quality issues arise with hand sanitizers," it said. "Additionally, the agency is concerned with false and misleading claims for hand sanitizers, for example that they can provide prolonged protection such as 24-hours against viruses including COVID-19, since there is no evidence to support these claims."