Close-up of hands applying hand sanitizer

FDA Warns of Toxic Substance in Some Hand Sanitizers

Check your hand sanitizer.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning the public about dozens of hand sanitizers that may contain a toxic substance.

The hand sanitizers may have methanol in them. Methanol, when absorbed through the skin or ingested, is toxic.

The FDA has compiled of list of at least 94 hand sanitizers that may contain methanol, and is advising consumers to stop using them immediately.

Brands affected include All-Clean, Blumen, Esk Biochem, CleanCare Klar and Danver, Modesa, Hello Kitty, Assured Instant, Lumi Skin, No Germ, Lavar 70, The Good Gel, Saniderm and more. 

If you have any of these products in your home, the FDA advises to stop use immediately and to dispose of them as hazardous waste. Do not dump them down the drain or flush them down the toilet.

Methanol is a wood alcohol and should not be used in hand sanitizers. The FDA is advising anyone who has been exposed to a methanol hand sanitizer to seek treatment immediately.

Hand sanitizers with methanol pose the biggest poison risk to anyone who ingests them – including to children who accidentally drink them or to teens or adults who drink them as a substitute for alcohol. Substantial exposure to methanol can lead to nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death.

According to the FDA, state officials have also reported recent adverse events from adults and children ingesting hand sanitizer products contaminated with methanol.

Regularly washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or using hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, is still recommended as a precaution against the coronavirus pandemic.

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Photo credit: Thanumporn Thongkongkaew


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