FDA Recommends Not Using These 9 Hand Sanitizers Considered Toxic

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this weekend 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 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
Detail as an employee of a food market supplies hand sanitizer to shoppers as a preventive measure against the spread of coronavirus on March 21, 2020 in Queretaro, Mexico. As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads, the Mexican government confirmed this morning 203 positive cases and 2 deceased. Photo by Cesar Gomez/Jam Media/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 agency 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 contacted Eskbiochem on June 17 to ask them to remove those sanitizers from the market because of potential risks to people using them. The company had not taken any action by the time FDA made its announcement on June 19.

The agency recommends removing these products by placing them in hazardous waste containers, and to not dump them down a drain. As of its announcement, FDA said there had been no reported cases of injury or poisoning from the sanitizers.

The administration still recommends using good sanitation habits while the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) still remains a threat.

"FDA 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," its website read.

It also recommends using a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.

"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."