FDA Warns Of Potentially Toxic Hand Sanitizers
As part of continued action to protect the American public, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers and health care professionals about hand sanitizer products containing methanol, or wood alcohol — a substance often used to create fuel and antifreeze that is not an acceptable active ingredient for hand sanitizer products and can be toxic when absorbed through the skin as well as life-threatening when ingested. The agency 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. State officials have also reported recent adverse events from adults and children ingesting hand sanitizer products contaminated with methanol, including blindness, hospitalizations and death.
The agency continues to warn the public not to use specific products listed here and is communicating with manufacturers and distributors of these dangerous products about recalling them. The FDA also continues to quality-test hand sanitizers, including testing products entering the country through the U.S. border, and maintains a list of FDA-tested and recalled hand sanitizers on the agency’s website, which will be continually updated as dangerous products are discovered.
“All Americans should practice good hand hygiene, which includes using alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not readily available. Unfortunately, there are some companies taking advantage