FDA Adds More Products to List of Dangerous Hand Sanitizers

FDA Adds More Products to List of Dangerous Hand Sanitizers

Hand sanitizer has been a hot item recently with the coronavirus pandemic. For months it was hard to even find any in stock, but things have gotten somewhat better now. That’s because people are not panic buying as much, and more brands have entered the market. However not all hand sanitizers are made the same. You should really research some of the brands and make sure to read labels. And even that might not be a sure thing. A warning letter has been issued to Eskbiochem S.A. de C.V. for example for distributing harmful products and even incorrectly stating FDA approval on them.

The US Food and Drug Administration has been compiling a list of dangerous had sanitizing products, which keeps growing. Many companies are using unsafe alcohols in their products, which can poison people through their skin.

FDA is warning consumers and health care providers that the agency has seen a sharp increase in hand sanitizer products that are labeled to contain ethanol (also known as ethyl alcohol) but that have tested positive for methanol contamination. Methanol, or wood alcohol, is a substance that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested. Substantial methanol exposure can result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death.

Additionally, some of the products the FDA has tested, have low levels of ethyl alcohol or isopropyl alcohol, which are active ingredients in hand sanitizer products. The agency urges consumers not to use these subpotent products and has expanded its list to include subpotent hand sanitizers, in addition to hand sanitizers that are or may be contaminated with methanol.

FDA also reminds consumers to wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing one’s nose. Only if soap and water are not readily available, consumers should use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% ethanol.

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