FDA Adds 5 'Toxic' Hand Sanitizers to an Already Dangerous List, Now at 14

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already warned people to not use nine certain hand sanitizers that are manufactured in Mexico, now it is listing five more sanitizers it considers "toxic," meaning they should not absorbed through the skin or digested.

The newest hand sanitizers added to the list are:

  • Grupo Insoma's Hand sanitizer Gel Unscented 70% Alcohol
  • Soluciones Cosmeticas' Bersih Hand Sanitizer Gel Fragrance Free
  • Soluciones Cosmeticas' Antiseptic Alcohol 70% Topical Solution hand sanitizer. The FDA says agency testing found methanol
  • Transliquid Technologies' Mystic Shield Protection Topical Solution
  • Tropicosmeticos' Britz Hand Sanitizer Ethyl Alcohol 70%

The FDA indicated it found methanol in all of the above hand sanitizers. Just two weeks ago, the FDA listed nine hand sanitizers from Mexico as "toxic" to consumers.

The FDA on June 19 advised people to not use certain hand sanitizers that are manufactured in Mexico, saying the sanitizers can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or digested.

The FDA stated on its website that the sanitizer manufactured in Eskbiochem SA de CV in Mexico contains the potential presence of methanol (wood alcohol). Here are the nine hand sanitizers identified by the FDA:

  • 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)
Hand Sanitizer Shopping
A picture shows empty shelves where hand sanitiser gels have sold out in a drug store in London February 4, 2020. - Pharmacies and drug stores say they have seen a spike in sales of hand sanitiser amid concern about the outbreak of Coronavirus. Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images

The FDA said methanol is not an acceptable ingredient in hand sanitizers, and that Lavar Gel contains 81 percent methanol while CleanCare No Germ contains 28 percent methanol.

"Consumers who have been exposed to hand sanitizer containing methanol should seek immediate treatment, which is critical for potential reversal of toxic effects of methanol poisoning," the FDA announced. "Substantial methanol exposure can result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death."

Children who use hand sanitizers with methanol and accidentally ingest it are at a risk for methanol poisoning, as are adults who drink the sanitizer as a substitute for alcohol (ethanol).

The FDA also issued these recommendations of hand sanitizers:

FDA remains vigilant and will continue to take action when quality issues arise with hand sanitizers. The agency is especially concerned with:

  • The dangers of drinking any hand sanitizer under any conditions. While hand sanitizers with possible methanol contamination are more life-threatening than those that are not contaminated, FDA urges consumers not to drink any of these products.
  • Certain hand sanitizers that may not contain a sufficient amount of ethyl alcohol or isopropyl alcohol.
  • Hand sanitizers that are sold or offered for sale with false and misleading, unproven claims that they can prevent the spread of viruses such as COVID-19, including claims that they can provide prolonged protection (e.g., for up to 24-hours).
  • Products that are fraudulently marketed as "FDA-approved" since there are no hand sanitizers approved by FDA.
  • Products packaged to appear as drinks, candy or liquor bottles, as well as products marketed as drinks or cocktails because their appearance could result in accidental ingestion or encourage ingestion. Children are particularly at risk with these products since ingesting only a small amount of hand sanitizer may be lethal in a young child.