FDA warns 9 hand sanitizer products can be toxic; stop use immediately

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SAN FRANICSCO (KRON) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning the public to stop using nine hand sanitizer products that have been found to contain a substance that can be potentially fatal when absorbed through the skin or ingested.

In a statement, the FDA said hand sanitizer manufactured by Esk Biochem SA de CV in Mexico should not be used.

The FDA has listed the following nine products manufactured by Esk Biochem:

  • 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 says it tested samples of Lavar Gel and CleanCare No Germ. Lavar Gel was found to contain 81% (v/v) methanol and no ethyl alcohol, and CleanCare No Germ contained 28% (v/v) methanol.

“Methanol is not an acceptable ingredient for hand sanitizers and should not be used due to its toxic effects,” the FDA said.

Those who have been exposed to hand sanitizer containing methanol should call 911 and seek immediate care.

“Substantial methanol exposure can result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death,” the FDA said in a statement. “Although all persons using these products on their hands are at risk, young children who accidently ingest these products and adolescents and adults who drink these products as an alcohol (ethanol) substitute, are most at risk for methanol poisoning.”

If you have any of these products, the FDA says to dispose of them immediately in appropriate hazardous waste containers. Do not flush or pour them down the drain.

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