FDA warns Americans not to use nine ‘toxic’ hand sanitizers made by Mexican company because they contain up to 80% methanol that can cause life-threatening blood poisoning
- The FDA wrote in a warning letter not to use nine hand sanitizers made by Mexico-based company Eskbiochem SA de CV
- Health officials say the products contain methanol, a type of alcohol that can be toxic if it is absorbed through the skin or ingested
- Agency tests showed that one of the company’s brand contained 28% methanol and another 81% methanol
- The FDA recommended that Eksbiochem removed its products from the market, but that has yet to occur
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning Americans to stop using certain hand sanitizers because they may be toxic.
All nine products are manufactured by Mexico-based Eskbiochem SA de CV and contain varying amounts of methanol.
Methanol is a type of alcohol that can be poisonous if it is absorbed through the skin or ingested.
The FDA says that exposure to methanol-based hand sanitizer can cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or even death.
The FDA warned Americans not to use nine hand sanitizers made by Mexico-based company Eskbiochem SA de CV (left and right) Health officials say the products contain methanol, a type of alcohol that can be toxic if it is absorbed through the skin or ingested
‘Methanol is not an acceptable ingredient for hand sanitizers and should not be used due to its toxic effects,’ the FDA said in a letter published last week.
‘Consumers who have been exposed to hand sanitizer containing methanol should seek immediate treatment, which is critical for potential reversal of toxic effects of methanol poisoning.’
In its warning, the FDA listed the following nine products:
- 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 said tests found that the CleanCare No Germ line contained 28 percent methanol while Lavar Gel contained 81 percent of the toxic chemical.
‘Although all persons using these products on their hands are at risk, young children who accidentally ingest these products and adolescents and adults who drink these products as an alcohol (ethanol) substitute, are most at risk for methanol poisoning,’ the federal health agency said.
Methanol poisonings are not common, but they do occur. In 2013, more than 1,700 cases occurred in the US.
In January 2016, two Tennessee high school students died after ingesting a mixture of Mountain Dew and methanol, believed to have come from racing fuel.
Additionally, in April 2018, a Massachusetts man died after consuming alcohol that was contaminated with methanol.
On June 17, the FDA said it advised Eskbiochem to take its hand sanitizer products off of shelves. As of June 22, the company has not done so yet.
Eskbiochem did not immediately reply to DailyMail.com’s request for comment.
The FDA recommends that the general public wash their hands with soap and warm or hot water for at least 20 seconds.
If soap and water isn’t available, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests using hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent ethanol.