The FDA is warning about the toxic ingredients of hand sanitizers made using nine different labels, all manufactured by Eskbiochem SA de CV in Mexico.
These widely distributed hand sanitizers were learned to contain up to 80% methanol, which is a wood alcohol that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested. The following products are all included in the warning:
- 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 tested the hand sanitizers and found the Lavar Gel contained 81% (v/v) methanol and no ethyl alcohol. CleanCare No Germ contained 28 percent methanol. “Methanol is not an acceptable ingredient for hand sanitizers and should not be used due to its toxic effects,” FDA officials said in a news release. FDA officials also said that those exposed to the hand sanitizers listed should seek immediate medical treatment. Treatment is crucial for potential reversal of the toxic effects of methanol poisoning. Exposure can cause nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death.
All persons are at risk, especially those accidentally or purposely ingesting the hand sanitizers. Despite the FDA’s warning to the company and requests for them to remove the products from the market due to the risks, the company failed to comply. Any unused portion of these products should be disposed of in hazardous waste containers and should not be flushed or pour them down the drain.
The 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. If soap and water are not readily available, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend consumers use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent ethanol.
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