The Food and Drug Administration is urging consumers to avoid using nine hand sanitizers from a manufacturer in Mexico due to the presence of methanol, which can be toxic when ingested or applied to the skin.
The agency has identified nine products made by Eskbiochem SA de CV that could contain the toxic substance.
- 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 found that Lavar Gel contains 81% methanol and no ethyl alcohol while CleanCare No Germ contains 28% methanol when tested. Methanol is not an “acceptable ingredient” for hand sanitizers. High exposure to methanol could lead to nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death.
Young children who ingest these products and adults and adolescents who drink these products as an alcohol substitute are most at risk for methanol poisoning. Poison control centers have received more calls during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including for cases involving children who drank hand sanitizers.
The agency recommends consumers dispose of the hand sanitizers in the appropriate hazardous waste containers.
Health experts recommend people wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, the CDC recommends using an alcohol-based sanitizer that contains at least 60% ethanol.
So far, the FDA is not aware of any reports of adverse events linked to these hand sanitizer products and encourages the public to report adverse events experienced with the use of hand sanitizers to FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program.
Last week, the FDA reached out to Eskbiochem last week to recommend the manufacturer remove its hand sanitizer products from the market, but the company had not taken action.