FDA Issues Warning on 'Toxic' Brands of Hand Sanitizer Gel

9 Mexico-made brands contain dangerous methanol, agency says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 22, 2020 6:03 PM CDT
FDA Says 9 Brands of Hand Sanitizer Could Be Toxic
Methanol exposure can lead to nausea, vomiting, headaches, permanent blindness, and seizures, the FDA says.   (Getty Images/Bogdan Kurylo)

The FDA has warned that nine brands of hand sanitizer gel made in Mexico may be so toxic that they shouldn't even be poured down the drain. The agency has issued a warning urging the public not to use the brands, manufactured by Eskbiochem SA de CV, because they may contain methanol, also known as wood alcohol, KDKA reports. Methanol can be toxic or even fatal, when absorbed through the skin or ingested, the FDA warned. The FDA says that while anybody using it on their hands is it risk, it is especially dangerous to children who might ingest by accident, the AP reports. The agency released this list of the brands and their National Drug Code identifiers:

  • 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)

The FDA says testing found that the Lavar gel was 81% wood alcohol. It says anybody exposed to hand sanitizers containing methanol should seek immediate treatment—and they should be disposed of in the " appropriate hazardous waste containers" instead of being flushed or poured down the drain. Company spokesman Alexander Escamillo tells the New York Times that the firm would never "send a toxic maliciously." He says the company did not register the products with the FDA or ship them to the US. Escamillo says the firm plans to take action against a broker who "had access to our company" and "registered our labels and shipped sanitizers." The AP reports that since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 100 people in Mexico have died from ingesting methanol. (More hand sanitizer stories.)

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