An advisory from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns against consumers using hand sanitizer containing methanol, an ingredient that can prove fatal if ingested or absorbed through the skin.
Methanol is alcohol often found in antifreeze, alcohol-based solvents, and fuel. When ingested or absorbed through the skin in a hand sanitizer, a potentially lethal dose is between 30 and 240 milliliters, as USA Today reports, or 1 to 8 ounces. The human body also creates its own methanol to digest food, but not anywhere near a lethal amount.
The FDA has advised that hand sanitizer manufacturer Eskbiochem makes the nine hand sanitizers consumers are being advised to stop using. If someone were to inhale, ingest, or absorb a substantial amount of methanol via frequent hand sanitizer use, they may experience nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, and other side effects.
Anyone who is exposed to methanol in this way and experiences these symptoms should seek immediate medical assistance to ensure they don’t suffer any organ damage.
Listed products which consumers are advised to avoid include:
- 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 has advised Eskbiochem to pull its products from the market for containing such a harmful ingredient, but the company has not done so. Customers who have purchased these products are also advised to dispose of them in hazardous waste containers.
Methanol should not be poured down a drain and it should not be disposed of near anything that could possibly ignite it. Hand sanitizers containing ethanol and isopropyl alcohol are safe to use and available at most retailers.
In order to kill coronavirus on the hands, rub hand sanitizer into your skin for at least 20 seconds.
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H/T USA Today