FDA Warns Of Hand Sanitizers Containing Methanol

handsanitizers july07

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration or FDA has warned about the growing number of hand sanitizers containing methanol or wood alcohol, that could be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested, and can be life-threatening. The products were originally labeled to contain ethanol.

Substantial methanol exposure could result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death.

While all are at risk for methanol poisoning, young children who accidently ingest these products and adolescents and adults who drink these products as an alcohol (ethanol) substitute, are most at risk.

Most recently, the FDA said it has been notified of "adults and children ingesting hand sanitizer products contaminated with methanol that has led to recent adverse events including blindness, hospitalizations and death."

The agency remains vigilant and said many of the products have been voluntarily recalled with other products being recommended for recalls because they might contain the potentially fatal ingredient. All of the products in the FDA's latest methanol update were produced in Mexico.

Some of the hand sanitizers that has been FDA tested and confirmed methanol contamination are:

* AAA Cosmetica's bio aaa Advance Hand Sanitizer;
* Grupo Insoma's Hand Sanitizer Gel Unscented 70% Alcohol;
* Soluciones Cosmeticas' Bersih Hand Sanitizer Gel Fragrance Free, and Antiseptic Alcohol 70% Topical Solution hand sanitizer; and
* Tropicosmeticos' Britz Hand Sanitizer Ethyl Alcohol 70%.

Also, FDA has advised consumers not to use the following Eskbiochem products -

* All-Clean Hand Sanitizer, Esk Biochem Hand Sanitizer: National Drug Code (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, and
* Saniderm Advanced Hand Sanitizer: NDC: 74589-001-01.

From 2011 - 2015, U.S. poison control centers received nearly 85,000 calls about hand sanitizer exposures among children.

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