9 brands of hand sanitizer may be toxic, FDA says

The FDA warned against using nine types of hand sanitizer, saying they may contain methanol, which is toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested. 

Hand sanitizers have been in heavy demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The FDA said June 19 that it has asked Eskbiochem, the Mexico-based company that made the hand sanitizers, to remove the "potentially dangerous products" from the U.S. market, but it has not done so. 

The agency found that one of the hand sanitizers, Lavar Gel, contained 81 percent methanol, and another type, CleanCare No Germ, contained 28 percent methanol. Methanol is not an acceptable ingredient for hand sanitizers and should not be used due to its toxic effects, the FDA said. 

Methanol is mostly used to make fuel and antifreeze and is poisonous to humans. 

The FDA recommended consumers stop using the nine types of hand sanitizer and to dispose of them in hazardous waste containers. The products shouldn't be flushed or poured in drains, the agency said.

The FDA said it hasn't received any adverse event reports related to the hand sanitizers, but said anyone exposed to a hand sanitizer containing methanol should seek immediate care to reverse the effects of methanol poisoning. Substantial methanol exposure can cause nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death, the agency said. 

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