FDA adds to list warning of potentially toxic hand sanitizers

Published: Jul. 6, 2020 at 9:29 AM CDT
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(Gray News) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned of a recent increase in hand sanitizers labeled as containing ethanol but instead have methanol, which can be toxic when absorbed through the skin and life-threatening when ingested.

The FDA updated an earlier advisory, adding more products it recommended people not use. It said the investigation is ongoing and will provide additional information as it becomes available.

The agency said it is aware of adults and children ingesting hand sanitizer products contaminated with methanol, or wood alcohol, that led to recent adverse events including death. Methanol is not an acceptable active ingredient for hand sanitizers and must not be used due to its toxic effects, the FDA said.

Consumers who have been exposed to hand sanitizer containing methanol and are experiencing symptoms should seek immediate treatment. Substantial methanol exposure can result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death.

Young children who accidently ingest these products and adolescents and adults who drink these products as an ethanol substitute are most at risk.

The following lists include products tested by the FDA and found to contain methanol, recalled by the manufacturer or distributor, purportedly made at the same facility as tainted products, or have been identified through the agency’s registration and listing database.

The updated list of products:

  • Grupo Insoma, S.A.P.I de CV Hand sanitizer Gel Unscented 70% Alcohol, NDCs 75744-0200-3, 75744-0200-4, 75744-0201-5, 75744-0202-1, 75744-0250-1, 75744-0250-2, 75744-0500-1, 75744-1000-1, 75744-1000-3, 75744-1001-1.
  • Transliquid Technologies Mystic Shield Protection hand sanitizer, 75477-435-02, 75477-435-10, 75477-435-12, 75477-435-25, 75477-435-50, 75477-534-10.
  • Soluciones Cosmeticas SA de CV Bersih Hand Sanitizer Gel Fragrance Free, 75165-003-02, 75165-004-01, 75165-005-01, 75165-006-01, 75165-008-01, 75165-250-01, 75165-600-01.
  • Soluciones Cosmeticas SA de CV Antiseptic Alcohol 70% Topical Solution hand sanitizer, no NDC listed.
  • Tropicosmeticos SA de CV Britz Hand Sanitizer Ethyl Alcohol 70%, 76676-402-01, 77676-402-02, 77676-402-03, 77676-402-04, 77676-402-05, 77676-402-06, 77676-402-07, 77676-402-08, 77676-402-09, 77676-402-10, 77676-402-11, 77676-402-12, 77676-402-13, 77676-402-14, 77676-402-16, 77676-402-17, 77676-402-18, 77676-402-19, 77676-402-20.

The original list of Eskbiochem SA de CV products:

  • All-Clean Hand Sanitizer, 74589-002-01.
  • Esk Biochem Hand Sanitizer, NDC 74589-007-01.
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol, 74589-008-04.
  • Lavar 70 Gel Hand Sanitizer, 74589-006-01.
  • The Good Gel Antibacterial Gel Hand Sanitizer, 74589-010-10.
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol, 74589-005-03.
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol, 74589-009-01.
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol, NDC: 74589-003-01.
  • Saniderm Advanced Hand Sanitizer, NDC: 74589-001-01.

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, the FDA reminded people to wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating and after coughing, sneezing or blowing their nose.

If soap and water are not readily available, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends consumers use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent ethanol, also known as ethyl alcohol.

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