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The FDA is warning people to avoid nine hand sanitizers because they may contain methanol, a substance that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin. Many were labeled as containing ethanol, which is safe, but tested positive instead for methanol, also known as wood alcohol. 

The FDA said on July 2 it is aware of adults and children who ingested hand sanitizers contaminated with methanol that caused blindness, hospitalizations and death. The FDA warns consumers to beware of any sanitizer marked as being FDA-approved. The agency has not approved any hand sanitizer.

The following products made by Eskbiochem SA de CV in Mexico are included in the warning:

  • All-Clean Hand Sanitizer (National Drug Code: 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)

In addition, the FDA said sanitizers made by Grupo Insoma, S.A.P.I de CV have also tested positive for methanol and the agency has asked the company to recall the products. The agency has also asked for voluntary recalls of several other products. See a full list at this FDA website.

The FDA says in a statement it asked Eskbiochem to stop selling the sanitizers, but the company has yet to do so.

Anyone who has been exposed to a hand sanitizer with methanol should seek medical treatment right away.

Methanol exposure can be deadly and lead to nausea, a headache, blurred vision, blindness, seizures, and permanent damage to the nervous system, according to the FDA. Read more

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