SAN ANTONIO – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to use 176 hand sanitizer products due to potential methanol contamination.
The FDA says the recalled hand sanitizer products are considered unsafe due to methanol contamination or because they contain “concerningly low levels of ethyl alcohol or isopropyl alcohol, which are active ingredients in hand sanitizer products.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that consumers use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent isopropyl or ethyl alcohol.
FDA officials said they were aware of reports of adverse events associated with the listed hand sanitizer products including adults and children who ingested products contaminated with methanol that led to blindness, hospitalizations and death.
New products were added to the list as recently as Tuesday with retail chains like Walmart and Costco having previously issued recalls for unknowingly selling the contaminated products.
The FDA is advising consumers not to use the recalled products because methanol - used in fuel, solvents and antifreeze - is poisonous to humans and substantial exposure could “result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death.”
The list of recalled products, including details about the manufacturers, can be found on the FDA website. The investigation by the FDA into the use of methanol in hand sanitizers is ongoing.
The names of the recalled products are listed in the document below:
FDA officials encourage “health care professionals, consumers and patients to report adverse events or quality problems experienced with the use of hand sanitizers to FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program.”
It is still recommended to wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds and especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.