FDA: Quit using these hand sanitizers

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(WYDaily file/Courtesy of Unsplash)
(WYDaily file/Courtesy of Unsplash)

Besides toilet paper, perhaps the most sought-after product during the coronavirus pandemic are hand sanitizers, but some can do you more harm than good.

Hand sanitizers manufactured by Eskbiochem SA de CV in Mexico may contain methanol (wood alcohol), a substance that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration are telling consumers to not use the products.

So, check your stash. Here’s a list provided by the FDA:

  • 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, according to a news release from the FDA.

Those who have been exposed to hand sanitizer containing methanol should seek immediate treatment, which is critical for 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 accidently ingest these products and adolescents and adults who drink these products as an alcohol (ethanol) substitute, are most at risk for methanol poisoning.

FDA contacted Eskbiochem June 17 to recommend the company remove its hand sanitizer products.

To date, the company has not taken action to remove these potentially dangerous products from the market, according to the FDA.

Oh, and one more thing:  Do not flush or pour these products down the drain.

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 recommend consumers use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent ethanol.

To date, FDA is not aware of any reports of adverse events associated with these hand sanitizer products. FDA encourages health care professionals, consumers and patients to report adverse events or quality problems experienced with the use of hand sanitizers to FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program:

  • Complete and submit the report online; or
  • Download and complete the form, then submit it via fax at 800-FDA-0178.

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