FDA Announces New Deadly Toxin Found in Hand Sanitizers, Adding to Recalls

It's been almost two months since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began recalls of hand sanitizers because certain products contained methanol, also know as wood alcohol. Since then, more than 100 hand sanitizers have been recalled.

The FDA on Wednesday announced another toxin that can be as deadly as methanol. That toxin is called 1-propanol, which can depress the central nervous system. The FDA stated some products are labeled to contain ethanol or isopropyl alcohol, but have tested positive for 1-propanol contamination.

"The agency urges consumers not to use these 1-propanol-contaminated products and has expanded its do-not-use list of hand sanitizers ... that are or may be contaminated with 1-propanol, in addition to other hand sanitizers the agency is urging consumers not to use," the FDA said in a statement.

Consumers who have any products on the do-not-use list, or potentially has methanol or 1-propanol, should quit using them immediately and get rid of them through a hazardous waste container. The agency recommends to not wash them down the drain.

The FDA said the biggest issues with the products are young children accidentally ingesting the toxin, or adults and adolescents who drink it as a substitute for alcohol. On animal tests, 1-propanol is 2 to 4 times as potent to the central nervous system as ethanol—or normal alcohol.

Hand Sanitizer
A person takes from a bottle of hydroalcoholic hand sanitizer on March 5, 2020. The FDA has recalled more than 100 hand sanitizers that contain methanol, and now the agency says 1-propanol is another toxin found in hand sanitizers. Photo by LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP via Getty Images

Symptoms of exposure to 1-propanol include confusion, decreased consciousness, and slowed pulse and breathing. Anyone who has come in contact with a product containing 1-propanol and begins feeling any of these symptoms should seek immediate care to treat potential 1-propanol poisoning.

Though hand sanitizer is commonly recommended to help keep your hands clean while in public—or even inside your home—so many of them have been discovered to have methanol, which can be toxic if either ingested or infiltrated wrongly through skin. The introduction of 1-propanol is another way the FDA is warning consumers of the dangers of products on the market.

For people wanting to continuously stay clean, the FDA and CDC recommend that you wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds—as needed, or several times a day—and to practice good hygiene. Hand sanitizers are recommended while in public, as long as the product contains at least 60 percent ethanol.

The FDA has advised people to not use certain hand sanitizers that are manufactured in Mexico.

Hand sanitizers became a hot commodity as spreading of COVID-19 during the global pandemic led to fears, shutdowns and more awareness of cleanliness.

"FDA remains vigilant and will continue to take action when quality issues arise with hand sanitizers," it said. "Additionally, the agency is concerned with false and misleading claims for hand sanitizers, for example that they can provide prolonged protection such as 24-hours against viruses including COVID-19, since there is no evidence to support these claims."

Here's a list of hand sanitizers the FDA says to not use:

Product(s)

All-Clean Hand Sanitizer

Andy's

Andy's Best

Assured Aloe

Assured Instant Antiseptic Hand Sanitizer with Aloe and Moisturizers

Assured Instant Antiseptic Hand Sanitizer with Vitamin E and Aloe

Assured Instant Hand Sanitizer (Aloe and Moisturizers)

Assured Instant Hand Sanitizer (Vitamin E and Aloe)

Assured Instant Hand Sanitizer Aloe and Moisturizers

Assured Instant Hand Sanitizer Vitamin E and Aloe

Be Safe Hand Sanitizer

Bersih Antiseptic Alcohol 70% Topical Solution hand sanitizer

Bersih Hand Sanitizer Gel Fragrance Free

bio aaa Advance Hand Sanitizer

BLUMEN Advanced Hand Sanitizer

BLUMEN Advanced Hand Sanitizer

BLUMEN Advanced Hand Sanitizer Aloe

Blumen Advanced Hand Sanitizer Aloe, with 70% alcohol

BLUMEN Advanced Hand Sanitizer Clear

Blumen Advanced Hand Sanitizer Lavender, with 70% alcohol

BLUMEN Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer Clear

BLUMEN Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer Clear

Blumen Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer Clear Ethyl Alcohol 70%

BLUMEN Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer Lavender

BLUMEN Aloe Advanced Hand Sanitizer, with 70 Alcohol

BLUMEN Aloe Advanced Hand Sanitizer, with 70 Alcohol

Blumen Antibacterial Fresh Citrus Hand Sanitizer

BLUMEN Clear Advanced Hand Sanitizer

BLUMEN Clear Advanced Hand Sanitizer

Blumen Clear Advanced Hand Sanitizer with 70% Alcohol

BLUMEN Clear Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer

BLUMEN Clear Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer Aloe

BLUMEN Clear Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer Lavender

BLUMEN Clear LEAR Advanced Hand Sanitizer

BLUMEN Clear LEAR Advanced Hand Sanitizer

Blumen Hand Sanitizer Fresh Citrus

BLUMEN Instant Hand Sanitizer Aloe Vera

BLUMEN Instant Hand Sanitizer Fragrance Free

Born Basic. Anti-Bac Hand Sanitizer 65% Alcohol

Born Basic. Anti-Bac Hand Sanitizer 70% alcohol

Britz Hand Sanitizer Ethyl Alcohol 70%

Cavalry

CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol

CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol

CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol

Cleaner Hand Sanitizer Rinse Free 70%

Clear Advanced Hand Sanitizer with 70% Alcohol extra soft with glycerin and aloe

DAESI Hand Sanitizer

Earths Amenities Instant Unscented Hand Sanitizer with Aloe Vera Advanced

ENLIVEN Hand Sanitizing Gel

Esk Biochem Hand Sanitizer

GelBact Hand Sanitizer

Hand Sanitizer

Hand Sanitizer Agavespa Skincare

Hand Sanitizer Disinfectant Gel 70% Ethyl Alcohol

Hand Sanitizer Disinfectant Gel 70% Ethyl Alcohol Rinse Free Hand Rub

Hand Sanitizer Gel Alcohol 70%

Hand sanitizer Gel Unscented 70% Alcohol

Handzer Hand Sanitizer Rinse Free

Hello Kitty Hand Sanitizer

Herbacil Antiseptic Hand Sanitizer 70% Alcohol

Herbacil Antiseptic Hand Sanitizer 70% Alcohol

Herbacil Antiseptic Hand Sanitizer 70% Alcohol

Jaloma Antiseptic Hand Sanitizer Ethyl Alcohol 62% with Vitamin E

KLAR AND DANVER Instant Hand Sanitizer

KLAR and DANVER Instant Hand Sanitizer

Kleanz Antibacterial Hand Sanitizer Advanced

Lavar 70 Gel Hand Sanitizer

Leiper's Fork Distillery Bulk Disinfectant per 5 gallon and Leiper's Fork Distillery 16 oz bottle

LumiSkin Advance Hand Sanitizer 16 oz

LumiSkin Advance Hand Sanitizer 4 oz

Lux Eoi Hand Sanitizing Gel

Medicare Alcohol Antiseptic Topical Solution

Modesa Instant Antiseptic Hand Sanitizer with Moisturizers and Aloe Vera

Modesa Instant Antiseptic Hand Sanitizer with Moisturizers and Vitamin E

MODESA Instant Hand Sanitizer Moisturizers and Vitamin E

Mystic Shield Protection hand sanitizer

NeoNatural

NEXT Hand Sanitizer

NuuxSan Instant Antibacterial Hand Sanitizer

NuuxSan Instant Hand Sanitizer

Optimus Instant Hand Sanitizer

Optimus Instant Hand Sanitizer

Optimus Lubricants Instant Hand Sanitizer

Parabola Hand Sanitizer

Plus Advanced

Purity Advanced Hand Sanitizer

QualitaMed Hand Sanitizer

Saniderm Advanced Hand Sanitizer

Sayab Antisepctic Hand Sanitizer 100

Scent Theory – Keep It Clean – Pure Clean Anti-bacterial Hand Sanitizer

Scent Theory – Keep It Clean – Pure Clean Anti-bacterial Hand Sanitizer

Selecto Hand Sanitizer

Shine and Clean Hand Sanitizer

The Good Gel Antibacterial Gel Hand Sanitizer

The Honeykeeper Hand Sanitizer

TriCleanz

TriCleanz Tritanium Labs Hand Sanitizer

Urbane Bath and Body Hand Sanitizer

Vidanos Easy Cleaning Rentals Hand Sanitizer Agavespa Skincare

Wave Hand Sanitizer Gel

The FDA encourages health care professionals, consumers and patients to report adverse events or quality problems experienced with the use of hand sanitizers to FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program (please provide the agency with as much information as possible to identify the product).

FDA Announces New Deadly Toxin Found in Hand Sanitizers, Adding to Recalls | U.S.