The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning against nine types of hand sanitizer because they reportedly contain methanol, a toxic and “potentially dangerous” substance.
Consumers who have been exposed to hand sanitizers manufactured by Mexico’s Eskbiochem SA de CV should seek immediate treatment, which the agency said is critical to potentially reverse the toxic effects of methanol poisoning.
“Methanol is not an acceptable ingredient for hand sanitizers and should not be used due to its toxic effects,” Friday’s warning states. The substance, also known as wood alcohol, can cause vomiting, nausea, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or even death, according to the FDA.
Lavar Gel, one of the products tested by the agency, turned out to have 81% of methanol and no ethyl alcohol, FDA officials said. Another product, CleanCare No Germ, reportedly contained 28% of methanol.
Federal officials said they contacted Eskbiochem last week to recommend the removal of its hand sanitizer products from the market, but the government said the company has not responded.
“Therefore, FDA recommends consumers stop using these hand sanitizers and dispose of them immediately in appropriate hazardous waste containers,” the warning states.
The agency asked consumers not to flush or pour these products down the drain. Eskbiochem did not immediately return an email seeking comment Monday afternoon.
Here are the nine hand sanitizers produced by the 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)
Harry P. Thal, MA, is a licensed insurance broker in California (0621106) and 24 other states. His offices are in Kernville. He is a member of the Society of Certified Senior Advisors and Past-President of the Kern Association of Health Underwriters. He may be reached at 760-376-2100, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit him on the web at www.harrythal.com.