FDA Warns of 5 Additional Hand Sanitizers Containing Toxic Methanol

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, methanol can be absorbed in the body via inhalation, ingestion, skin contact, or eye contact. If ingested, it can cause a range of issues, including headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, kidney failure, coma, and death.

The FDA urges any consumers that have been exposed to hand sanitizer containing methanol to seek treatment immediately. They also recommend consumers immediately stop using the toxic hand sanitizer products and dispose of them in appropriate hazardous waste containers. Consumers should not flush or pour the products down the drain.

Late last month, health officials in New Mexico announced that three people in the state had died after drinking hand sanitizer containing methanol. Three others who drank the toxic substance were in critical condition and another was permanently blind, the Department of Health said at the time.

The cases were related to alcoholism, as hand sanitizer typically has a high alcohol content. Brandon Warrick, an assistant professor at the University of New Mexico who is certified in emergency medicine, medical toxicology, and addiction, told The New York Times that it was the largest number of methanol poisoning cases he has seen.

Amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, health experts, including the CDC, have recommended sanitizing your hands by washing them with soap and water as the best way to avoid infection.

If soap and water are unavailable, the CDC has recommended using a hand sanitizer that’s made from at least 60 percent alcohol.

If done correctly, experts estimate that sanitizing your hands can reduce the rate of infection by respiratory illness infection by 16 to 21 percent.

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