FDA Warns of Toxic Hand Sanitizers

This article was originally posted on CNET. Written by : Amanda Capritto, on June 23, 2020. 

 

   “The Food and Drug Administration released a warning statement on June 19, 2020 saying consumers should not buy hand sanitizer products from the Mexico-based manufacturer Eskbiochem. The warning comes after the FDA discovered methanol, or wood alcohol, in these products. Methanol can be dangerous when ingested or absorbed through the skin, and it can be fatal in large quantities.”

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

   “The demand for hand sanitizers is still high as the coronavirus pandemic resurges, which makes the recent health warning even more jarring. Many people can’t find their usual hand sanitizer online or in stores, so they turn to new brands that may or may not have manufactured hand sanitizer before the coronavirus pandemic.”

“Eskbiochem manufactures several brands of hand sanitizer: 

  • All-Clean Hand Sanitizer 
  • Esk Biochem Hand Sanitizer
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol 
  • Lavar 70 Gel Hand Sanitizer 
  • The Good Gel Antibacterial Gel Hand Sanitizer 
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol 
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol 
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol 
  • Saniderm Advanced Hand Sanitizer

   The FDA encourages consumers not to buy the above brands of hand sanitizer after FDA testing revealed high methanol concentrations in two Eskbiochem hand sanitizer products, Lavar Gel and CleanCare No Germ.

   Lavar Gel contains more than 80% methanol and no ethyl alcohol, which is the main FDA-approved ingredient for use in hand sanitizers. CleanCare No Germ contains nearly 30% methanol, the FDA found. As of June 23, the FDA reports no cases of harmful health effects associated with the Eskbiochem hand sanitizers, but urges caution nonetheless.”

   If you have used a hand sanitizer with methanol in the last few months, throw it out. The FDA advises that you seek medical treatment immediately if you’ve been exposed to methanol, because intervention is required to reverse the toxic effects of methanol poisoning. 

   Everyone exposed to methanol is at risk for methanol poisoning, but young children are especially susceptible, the FDA says. 

 

Amanda Capritto. “Toxic Hand Sanitizer: FDA Warns Consumers to Avoid 9 Brands”. CNET, On June 23, 2020. https://www.cnet.com/health/toxic-hand-sanitizer-fda-warns-consumers-to-avoid-hand-sanitizer-brands/ Accessed June 19,2020