By B.N. Frank
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for protecting Americans from harmful products. Their track record isn’t great (see 1, 2).
Their reputation isn’t great either. They’ve even been blamed by experts and whistleblowers for significantly contributing to the Opioid Crisis. Recently, the agency warned that 9 hand sanitizers are toxic and potentially deadly if absorbed by the body. They’ve just added more to that list.
FDA adds to list of hand sanitizers to avoid, making it 14 total
AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has added five more hand sanitizers to its list of products that have been found to contain a substance that can be potentially fatal when absorbed through the skin or ingested.
In a statement, the FDA issued a warning to consumers and health care providers about a “sharp” increase in hand sanitizer found to contain methanol contamination in products containing ethanol, also known as ethyl alcohol.
“Methanol, or wood alcohol, is a substance that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested and can be life-threatening when ingested,” the FDA said.
On July 2, the FDA identified the following hand sanitizer products containing methanol:
- Grupo Insoma’s Hand Sanitizer Gel Unscented, 70% alcohol)
- Transliquid Technologies’ Mystic Shield Protection Hand Sanitizer
- Soluciones Cosmeticas’ Bersih Hand Sanitizer Gel Fragrance Free and Antiseptic Alcohol 70% Topical Solution Hand Sanitizer
- Tropicosmeticos’ Britz Hand Sanitizer Ethyl Alcohol 70%
Previously, the FDA said hand sanitizer manufactured by Esk Biochem SA de CV in Mexico should not be used.
The FDA has listed the following nine products manufactured by Esk Biochem:
- 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 says it tested samples of Lavar Gel and CleanCare No Germ. Lavar Gel was found to contain 81% (v/v) methanol and no ethyl alcohol, and CleanCare No Germ contained 28% (v/v) methanol.
Those who have been exposed to hand sanitizer containing methanol should call 911 and seek immediate care.
“Substantial methanol exposure can result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death,” the FDA said in the statement. “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.”
If you have any of these products, the FDA says to dispose of them immediately in appropriate hazardous waste containers. Do not flush or pour them down the drain.