FDA warns 9 hand sanitizers may contain a potentially fatal ingredient
The US Food and Drug Administration is warning people not to use certain hand sanitizer products due to the potential presence of methanol, a toxic substance when absorbed through skin or ingested.
Methanol is a toxic alcohol that is used industrially as a solvent, pesticide, and alternative fuel source, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Significant exposure to methanol can result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death.
According to a study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, methanol can only potentially be lethal if used in a dose of approximately 30 to 240 mL.
The FDA advises consumers to "stop using these hand sanitizers and dispose of them immediately":
- 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)
Those exposed to hand sanitizers that contain methanol should seek medical care immediately, according to the FDA.
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The FDA found methanol in samples of Lavar Gel and CleanCare No Germ hand sanitizers manufactured by Eskbiochem SA, a chemical manufacturer based in Mexico.
The FDA has recommended to Eskbiochem that the company remove its hand sanitizer products from the market, but the company has not yet removed them.
Young children who accidentally ingest hand sanitizer and young people who drink hand sanitizer as an alcohol substitute are at an increased risk for methanol poisoning, the FDA said.
USA TODAY has reached out to the FDA for comment.