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FDA wants you to stop using these hand sanitizers

The Food and Drug Administration is advising consumers to throw away hand sanitizer from Eskbiochem of Mexico due to the presence of methanol.

WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers about a potentially toxic substance in hand sanitizers manufactured by a company from Mexico.

The administration issued the advisory for nine hand sanitizing products from Eskbiochem SA de CV on Friday. The FDA said the products could contain methanol, or wood alcohol, which could be toxic if it is absorbed through the skin or ingested.

The affected products include: 

  • 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)

According to the FDA, "substantial methanol exposure can result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death." The agency noted that those at highest risk for methanol poisoning are children who accidentally consume the hand sanitizers or adults who drink them as a substitute for alcohol.

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The FDA said they recommended to Eskbiochem that they remove their hand sanitizers from the market due to the risks. As of Friday, the company had not taken any action in that regard.

If you have any of the aforementioned hand sanitizers, it is strongly recommended that you throw them out in an appropriate hazardous waste container and do not flush or pour the products down a drain.

The FDA has not received reports of adverse reactions to the products, but advises anyone who has been exposed to hand sanitizer containing methanol should seek immediate treatment.

Washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is still the most recommended way to stop the spread of germs, including COVID-19, but if soap and water are not available, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol. 

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