FDA warns of toxic chemical in certain hand sanitizers

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Exposure to this chemical can result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death

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(WYTV) – The Food and Drug Administration is warning people not to use any hand sanitizer manufactured by Eskbiochem SA de CV in Mexico because it could contain methanol (wood alcohol), a substance that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested.

The FDA has identified the following products manufactured by Eskbiochem:

  • 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% methanol and CleanCare No Germ contains 28% methanol.

Methanol is not an acceptable ingredient for hand sanitizers and should not be used, the FDA says.

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

If you have been exposed to hand sanitizer containing methanol, you should seek immediate treatment, which is critical in an attempt to reverse the toxic effects of methanol poisoning.

Although it’s also dangerous to use these products on your hands, young children who may ingest them or people who drink them as an alcohol substitute are most at risk for methanol poisoning.

On June 17, the FDA contacted Eskbiochem to recommend the company remove its hand sanitizer products from the market due to the risks associated with methanol poisoning. To date, the company has not taken action to remove these potentially dangerous products from the market.

Therefore, the FDA recommends people stop using these hand sanitizers and throw them away immediately in appropriate hazardous waste containers. Do not flush or pour these products down the drain.

The FDA reminds consumers to wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water aren’t available, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% ethanol.

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