FDA Expands Hand Sanitizer Advisory

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued and expanded a warning to consumers about the risks of methanol-based hand sanitizers following reports of serious adverse health events from their use. 

“Methanol is not an acceptable ingredient for hand sanitizers and should not be used due to its toxic effects,” stated the FDA on its website. “FDA advises consumers not to use any hand sanitizer manufactured by Eskbiochem SA de CV in Mexico, due to the potential presence of methanol (wood alcohol), a substance that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested.” 

Click here for the FDA’s complete list of methanol-contaminated products

The FDA warns that consumers who have been exposed to methanol-containing hand sanitizer to seek immediate treatment for potential reversal of the toxic effects of methanol poisoning. Exposure can result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent nervous system damage or even death. 

If soap and water are not readily available for consumers to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent ethanol. 

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