The Allegany County Department of Health would like to remind Allegany County residents to check the Food and Drug Administration’s regularly updated list for recalled hand sanitizers before buying an unknown brand. https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-and-availability/fda-updates-hand-sanitzers-methanol
The Food and Drug Administration has added to the list of hand sanitizers — some sold at Walmart and other national chains — being recalled to more than 75 recently, saying toxic levels of wood alcohol in them can cause injury or death.
The FDA said that there has been an increase in hand sanitizers that are labeled to contain ethyl alcohol, or ethanol, but have tested positive for methanol, or wood alcohol. If methanol is absorbed through the skin, it can cause blindness and hospitalizations, or death if ingested. The demand for hand sanitizer has surged and questionable new brands have made their way to store shelves across the United States, most imported from Mexico. The FDA has seen an increase in hand sanitizer products that are labeled to contain ethanol (also known as ethyl alcohol) but that have tested positive for methanol contamination. There have been reports of adverse events from adults and children ingesting hand sanitizers products contaminated with methanol, including blindness, hospitalizations and death. Be aware of the concerns the FDA has with hand sanitizers:
- FDA urges consumers not to drink any hand sanitizer products.
- Certain hand sanitizers that may not contain a sufficient amount of ethyl alcohol or isopropyl alcohol.
- Hand sanitizers that are sold or offered for sale with false and misleading, unproven claims that they can prevent the spread of viruses such as COVID-19, including claims that they can provide prolonged protection (e.g., for up to 24-hours).
- Products that are fraudulently marketed as “FDA-approved” since there are no hand sanitizers approved by FDA.
- Products packaged to appear as drinks, candy or liquor bottles, as well as products marketed as drinks or cocktails because their appearance could result in accidental ingestion or encourage ingestion. Children are particularly at risk with these products since ingesting only a small amount of hand sanitizer may be lethal in a young child.
- Products labeled with harmful or poisonous ingredients, such as methanol.
The FDA continues to communicate with manufacturers and distributors about these dangerous products and recalling them. Blumen products; Klar and Danver Instant Hand Sanitizer; Modesa Instate Hand Sanitizer Moisturizers and Vitamin E; Hello Kitty by Sanrio Hand Sanitizer; Assured Aloe; QualitaMed; Herbacil; Earth Amenities; All Clean; Esk Biochem; Lavar; Clean Care No germ; The Good Gel; and many more are on the FDA list of recalled hand sanitizers. The FDA continues to quality-test hand sanitizers including testing products entering the U.S. from other countries and maintains a list of FDA-tested and recalled hand sanitizers on their website
If you question the hand sanitizer products, you have purchased or that you see in stores for sale, check the FDA list to make sure before you continue to use or purchase a product. If you have a product from the list stop using it and dispose of it according to your local regulations for disposal. If you have used a product with methanol seek immediate medical treatment for potential reversal of methanol poisoning.
If you have questions for the Food and Drug Administration should call 1-888-INFO-FDA (1-888-463-6332).
For questions about any type of poisoning call the New York Regional Poison Control Center call 1-800-222-1222.