Consumers should avoid five additional brands of hand sanitizer that tested positive for methanol, a substance that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested, the Food and Drug Administration said. The warning comes after the agency last month cautioned against any of nine brands of possibly toxic hand sanitizer that may contain methanol.
The warnings come at a time when hand sanitizers are in especially heavy demand due to the coronavirus pandemic, with public health officials urging consumers to frequently wash their hands and to use hand sanitizer. For instance, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends using sanitizers that contain at least 60% ethanol alcohol, as well as frequently washing hands.
The FDA said Thursday that methanol, or wood alcohol, "is not an acceptable active ingredient for hand sanitizers and must not be used due to its toxic effects." The agency said it is aware of cases of adults and children who have ingested hand sanitizer made with methanol, which has led to blindness, hospitalizations and death.
The FDA is advising consumers to avoid products from the brands listed below, as well as these specific products with NDC numbers, which it said tested positive for methanol:
The FDA said that consumers who have been exposed to products with methanol and who are having symptoms should seek immediate treatment to reverse the effects of methanol poisoning, which can include nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision or permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system, or death.
"Young children who accidentally ingest these products and adolescents and adults who drink these products as an alcohol (ethanol) substitute, are most at risk," the FDA said.
Below are the previous 9 brands that the FDA listed as containing methanol: