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).