FDA adds more hand sanitizers to its list of products that could contain potentially deadly ingredient

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration added more hand sanitizers to its list of products that contain methanol, which can potentially be fatal when absorbed through the skin or ingested.

The FDA said it had seen a “sharp increase” in the number of products that claim to contain ethanol but tested positive for methanol contamination. Methanol, also known as wood alcohol, can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested and can be life-threatening when ingested.

“The agency is aware of adults and children ingesting hand sanitizer products contaminated with methanol that has led to recent adverse events including blindness, hospitalizations and death,” the FDA said.

The agency added the following products to its list:

  • Grupo Insoma’s Hand Sanitizer Gel Unscented 70% Alcohol
  • Transliquid Technologies’ Mystic Shield Protection hand sanitizer
  • Soluciones Cosmeticas’ Bersih Hand Sanitizer Gel Fragrance Free
  • Soluciones Cosmeticas’ Antiseptic Alcohol 70% Topical Solution hand sanitizer
  • Tropicosmeticos’ Britz Hand Sanitizer Ethyl Alcohol 70%
  • AAA Cosmetica’s bio aaa Advance Hand Sanitizer
  • AAA Cosmetica’s LumiSkin Advance Hand Sanitizer 4 oz.
  • AAA Cosmetica’s LumiSkin Advance Hand Sanitizer 16 oz.
  • AAA Cosmetica’s QualitaMed Hand Sanitizer 

Also, ITECH 361 is voluntarily recalling 18,940 bottles of All Clean Hand Sanitizer, Moisturizer and Disinfectant sold in one liter bottles to the consumer level. The products are being recalled due to the potential presence of methanol.

Previously, the FDA said hand sanitizer manufactured by Esk Biochem SA de CV in Mexico should not be used and listed the following products:

  • 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.

“Methanol is not an acceptable ingredient for hand sanitizers and should not be used due to its toxic effects,” the FDA said.

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 a statement. “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.”

If you have any of these products, you should dispose of them immediately in appropriate hazardous waste containers. Do not flush or pour them down the drain.

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