FDA warns use of nine hand sanitizers that could be toxic

The US Food and Drug Administration has advised consumers not to use hand sanitizer products manufactured by Eskbiochem SA, a Mexican company, due to the potential presence of methanol.

According to FDA, the presence of methanol (wood alcohol) in the hand sanitizers can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested.

The toxic chemical was present in the tested samples of Lavar Gel and CleanCare No Germ.

“Lavar Gel contains 81 percent (v/v) methanol and no ethyl alcohol, and CleanCare No Germ contains 28 percent (v/v) methanol. Methanol is not an acceptable ingredient for hand sanitizers and should not be used due to its toxic effects,” FDA sated.

FDA has now urged consumers to avoid using the following products manufactured by the Mexican Company:

  • 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 recommended that consumers who have been exposed to hand sanitizers containing methanol should seek treatment, “which is critical for potential reversal of toxic effects of methanol poisoning.”

“Substantial methanol exposure can result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death,” the Administration said.

FDA had asked Eskbiochem on June 17, to remove its hand sanitizer products from the market due to the risks associated with methanol poisoning but to date, the company had not taken any action.

“FDA recommends consumers stop using these hand sanitizers and dispose of them immediately in appropriate hazardous waste containers. Do not flush or pour these products down the drain.”

The demand for hand sanitizers has been on the rise following the outbreak of Covid-19.

In order to prevent the spread of the infectious disease, World Health Organisation has recommended consumers to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent ethanol, in case soap and water are not readily available.

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