FDA List of Potentially Dangerous Hand Sanitizers with Methanol Expands

Female hands using hand sanitizer gel pump dispenser
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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has added a dozen potentially dangerous hand sanitizers to its recall list due to the presence of methanol.

As of Tuesday, 87 of the products have tested positive for methanol, a substance that can be poisonous if it comes into contact with the skin or potentially fatal if ingested, the FDA said in a press release.

The majority of the hand sanitizers appear to be made in Mexico, with recalls issued by the distributor or manufacturer.

The FDA is urging consumers not to use products from listed manufacturers even if that specific product is not on the recall list, “since some manufacturers are recalling only certain — but not all — of their hand sanitizer products,” the FDA said.

“We remain extremely concerned about the potential serious risks of alcohol-based hand sanitizers containing methanol,” said FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen M. Hahn. “Producing, importing and distributing toxic hand sanitizers poses a serious threat to the public and will not be tolerated.”

The FDA’s “do not use” list has been rapidly growing since June when a regulator observed an increase in hand sanitizers that reportedly contained ethanol but tested positive for methanol as well.

Substantial exposure to methanol can result in vomiting, nausea, blurred vision, headache, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, nervous system damage, and even death, according to the FDA.

The FDA’s investigation into the contamination is ongoing. The full list of recalled products can be viewed on the FDA’s website.

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