The USA Food and Drugs Administration has warned the consumers not to use certain hand sanitizers as it contains a potentially fatal ingredient. FDA warned 9 brands of hand sanitizers due to the presence of methanol, a toxic substance when absorbed through the skin or ingested. FDA found the presence of methanol in samples of Lavar Gel, and CleanCare No Germ hand sanitizers, produced by a Mexican company. Methanol is an industrially used toxic chemical, a solvent, a pesticide, and an alternative fuel source.
FDA Warned Consumers Not To Use Certain Sanitizers
Centre for Disease Control discovered that significant exposure to methanol can result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death. Following are the nine brands of hand sanitizers that were the FDA recommends to consumers to avoid.
- 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)
Studies from the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that methanol can only potentially be lethal if used in a dose of approximately 30 to 240 mL. So FDA recommended all consumers stop using them and those who exposed to hand sanitizers that contain methanol should seek medical care immediately.
The Lavar Gel and CleanCare No Germ hand sanitizers are manufactured by Eskbiochem SA, a chemical manufacturer based in Mexico.
FDA asked Eskbiochem to remove sanitizers
The FDA has recommended Eskbiochem to remove the sanitizers that contain methanol from the market. But they didn’t done it yet. Young children and people who accidentally drink or ingest those sanitizers are at an increased risk for methanol poisoning, the FDA said. As the company didn’t respond to the warnings yet, the FDA requested customers to stop using these products immediately and dispose of them in “appropriate hazardous waste containers.”
The alert has come at a time when hand sanitizers are in demand due to the coronavirus pandemic and while public health officials urging consumers to frequently wash their hands. Agency tests found samples of one product, Lavar Gel, contained 81% methanol and those of CleanCare No Germ contained 28%.
The FDA stated that the methanol is not an acceptable ingredient for hand sanitizers and should not be used due to its toxic effects. Agency also announced to “not flush or pour these products down the drain.”
Why is methanol harmful to adults and children?
Methanol is commonly used in industries as a fuel source. It has a weak ability to kill viruses but can be toxic to humans. When an adult or child is exposed to methanol, it is absorbed through the skin, stomach, or lungs (depending on the route of exposure), and most of it becomes formaldehyde in the body. Formaldehyde is then rapidly changed into formic acid in the liver.
Formic acid can cause death or damage to the brain and to the optic nerve leading to blindness. 1-3 US tablespoons of methanol can cause serious harm or even death. The very low amount, that is less than 1-3 tablespoon of methanol is present in many household products including in inks and dyes, adhesives, antifreeze, paint thinner, and cleaning products, as well as in some fruits and vegetables and alcoholic and non-alcoholic fermented beverages.