JUN 23, 2020 7:15 AM PDT

FDA Warns Against Toxic Hand Sanitizers

WRITTEN BY: Annie Lennon

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen demand for hand sanitizers soar in recent months. As such, the Food and Drug Administration has warned the public to avoid hand sanitizers containing methanol, also known as 'wood alcohol'. Not only the substance less effective than other alcohols at killing bacteria, but it is also known to be toxic if absorbed through the skin or ingested. 

So far, the FDA has identified nine products for the public to steer clear of: All-Clean Hand Sanitizer, Esk Biochem Hand Sanitizer, CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer, Lavar 70 Gel Hand Sanitizer, The Good Gel Antibacterial Gel Hand Sanitizer, CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer, CleanCare Nogerman Advanced Hand Sanitizer, and Saniderm Advanced Hand Sanitizer. 

The announcement comes after the agency tested samples from two products known as Lavar gel and CleanCare NoGerm, finding that they were 81% and 28% made from methanol. Both products, and all nine of the products listed above, are manufactured by Eskbiochem SA de CV in Mexico. 

A spokesperson for the company, Alexander Escamillo, said that a third-party registered their labels with the FDA and was responsible for shipping their products. He added that his company would never 'send a toxic chemical maliciously'. 

While methanol by itself is not extremely toxic, the formaldehyde and formic acid- metabolites produced when it breaks down in the body, can cause serious health conditions and even death. While exposure may cause mild symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and blurred version in some, extensive exposure can cause metabolic acidosis, a build-up of acid in the circulatory system, which can lead to seizures, kidney failure, blindness, and fatal heart conditions. 

Children are at the most significant risk of severe problems should they ingest the substance, rub into their skin, or inhale it. The FDA has nevertheless urged anyone who has come into contact with the substance to seek medical attention immediately. 

The FDA states, "FDA recommends that 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."


Sources: New York Times, Standard Media, Forbes

About the Author
  • Science writer with keen interests in technology and behavioral biology. Her current focus is on the interplay between these fields to create meaningful interactions, applications and environments.
You May Also Like
OCT 03, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
Treating Gut-Leakiness
OCT 03, 2020
Treating Gut-Leakiness
A drug called tofacitinib, also called Xeljanz , was found to treat permeability defects in the intestines. Tofacitinib ...
NOV 03, 2020
Cardiology
A New Peptide Could Help Repair and Protect the Heart During Ischemia Reperfusion Injury
NOV 03, 2020
A New Peptide Could Help Repair and Protect the Heart During Ischemia Reperfusion Injury
Cardiovascular disease is one of the most common causes of death in the world. Although we have many treatments against ...
NOV 01, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Can Cannabis Treat ALS?
NOV 01, 2020
Can Cannabis Treat ALS?
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative illness that damages motor neurons and leads to progressive m ...
NOV 08, 2020
Neuroscience
Psychedelic DMT Improves Memory by Neurogenesis
NOV 08, 2020
Psychedelic DMT Improves Memory by Neurogenesis
Researchers from the Complutense University of Madrid in Spain have found that dimethyltryptamine (DMT), the psychoactiv ...
NOV 17, 2020
Immunology
6 Injections a Year Prevent HIV Infections
NOV 17, 2020
6 Injections a Year Prevent HIV Infections
Last year, around 1.7 million people became infected with HIV, with around half of these being women. Encouraging result ...
DEC 01, 2020
Immunology
Scar-Free Healing Starts With Mobilizing the Immune System
DEC 01, 2020
Scar-Free Healing Starts With Mobilizing the Immune System
Thanks to a new hydrogel biomaterial developed by researchers at Duke University, we are one step closer to the holy gra ...
Loading Comments...