Healthcare News

The FDA Warns Against Using Certain Hand Sanitizers: See the Full List

August 3, 2020 By

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been warning people about certain types of hand sanitizers found to be toxic.

The hand sanitizers causing the concern contain a harmful ingredient called methanol, also known as wood alcohol. It is a substance often used to create fuel and antifreeze that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin as well as life-threatening when ingested.

According to the FDA, in most cases, methanol does not appear on the product label.

FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D: “We remain extremely concerned about the potential serious risks of alcohol-based hand sanitizers containing methanol. Producing, importing and distributing toxic hand sanitizers poses a serious threat to the public and will not be tolerated. The FDA will take additional action as necessary and will continue to provide the latest information on this issue for the health and safety of consumers.”

The FDA is closely monitoring the issue and cites a rising number of related problems, including blindness, cardiac effects, effects on the central nervous system, and even hospitalizations and death, that can result after using hand sanitizers contaminated with methanol.

For the FDA’s regularly updated Do Not Use List of hand sanitizers, click here.

One of the best ways to prevent the spread of infections and reduce your risk of getting sick is by washing your hands with plain soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, the CDC recommends using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Verify that the hand sanitizer you choose is free of methanol, is not subpotent, and is not actively being recalled by referring to the FDA’s safety list.


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