The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) added 3 additional hand sanitizers to its increasingly growing list of recalled products due to possible contamination with a toxic chemical. That brings the number to 65 products that have tested positive for methanol which can be poisonous if absorbed through the skin or ingested. The majority of these products appear to have been manufactured in Mexico. Many of the recalled products don’t list methanol in the ingredient section.
These products were introduced to the American market at a time when consumers are working diligently to insulate themselves from a potentially deadly pandemic COVID-19. This pandemic has had a dramatic effect on the world’s economy and forced lockdowns statewide. The demand for these products has reached an all-time high as store shelves have been emptied and there have even been cases of product scalping.
The FDA says “Methanol is not an acceptable active ingredient for hand sanitizers and must not be used due to its toxic effects.” Methanol is a toxic alcohol typically used as a solvent, pesticide and alternative fuel source according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Exposure can result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, and permanent damage to the nervous system and death. The FDA’s investigation is ongoing and a full list of recalled products can be found on their website. The CDC advises using hand sanitizer only if soap and water and says hand sanitizers must be alcohol based and contain at least 60 percent alcohol. The best way to prevent the spread of infection is to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
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