FDA warns Americans not to use nine “toxic” hand sanitizers from a Mexican company because they contain up to 80% methanol that can cause life-threatening septicemia
- 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, which is a type of alcohol that can be toxic if absorbed through the skin or ingested
- The agency’s tests revealed that one of the company’s brands contained 28% methanol and another 81% methanol
- The FDA advised Eksbiochem to withdraw its products from the market, but that has yet to be done
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns Americans to stop using certain hand sanitizers because they can 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 toxic if ingested or ingested.
The FDA says 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, which is a type of alcohol that can be toxic if passed through the skin absorbed or ingested
“Methanol is not an acceptable ingredient for hand sanitizers and should not be used because of its toxic effects,” the FDA said in a letter published last week.
“Consumers exposed to hand sanitizer containing methanol should seek immediate treatment, which is critical to the potential reversal of the 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 showed that the CleanCare No Germ line contained 28 percent methanol, while Lavar Gel contained 81 percent of the toxic chemical.
“Although all individuals who use these products on their hands are at risk, young children who accidentally take these products and adolescents and adults who drink these products as an alcohol (ethanol) substitute are at greatest risk of methanol poisoning,” said the Federal Health Service said.
Methanol poisons are not common, but they do occur. More than 1,700 cases occurred in the US in 2013.
In January 2016, two high school students in Tennessee died after ingesting a mixture of Mountain Dew and methanol, believed to be from racing fuel.
In addition, a man from Massachusetts died in April 2018 after consuming alcohol contaminated with methanol.
On June 17, the FDA said it advised Eskbiochem to remove its hand sanitizers from the shelves. On June 22, the company has not yet done so.
Eskbiochem did not immediately respond 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 are not available, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend using hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent ethanol.