FDA Warns of Unsafe Hand Sanitizers

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has advised people to not use certain hand sanitizers that are manufactured in Mexico, saying the sanitizers can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or digested.

The following sanitizers manufactured by Eskbiochem SA de CV in Mexico, are hazardous, due to the potential presence of methanol (wood alcohol), a substance that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested:

  • 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 samples of Lavar Gel and CleanCare No Germ.

Lavar Gel contains 81 percent (v/v) methanol and no ethyl alcohol, and CleanCare No Germ contains 28 percent (v/v) methanol. Methanol is not an acceptable ingredient for hand sanitizers and should not be used due to its toxic effects.

Consumers who have been exposed to hand sanitizer containing methanol should seek immediate treatment, which is critical for the potential reversal of toxic effects of methanol poisoning.

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

Although all persons using these products on their hands are at risk, young children who accidentally ingest these products and adolescents and adults who drink these products as an alcohol (ethanol) substitute, are most at risk for methanol poisoning.

Newsweek reports that the FDA contacted Eskbiochem on June 17 to ask them to remove those sanitizers from the market because of potential risks to people using them.

The company had not taken any action by the time FDA made its announcement on June 19.