As of July 28, 87 hand sanitizers have tested positive for methanol, a substance often used to create fuel and antifreeze that can be toxic if absorbed through the skin and potentially fatal if swallowed. , according to the latest FDA report. update. The majority of the products appear to have been made in Mexico, with recalls issued by the manufacturer or distributor.
The FDA urges consumers not to use hand sanitizer products from any of the listed manufacturers, even if the particular product or lot number is not included in the recall “because some manufacturers only recall some – but not all of them – their hand sanitizers, “the FDA said.
To address the issue, the FDA is proactively working with manufacturers to recall products and is urging distributors and retailers to “immediately” stop distributing and selling cleansing gels due to the risk of methanol poisoning.
As of July 23, the FDA’s list had already climbed to 75 cleaners.
“We remain extremely concerned about the serious potential risks of alcohol-based hand sanitizers containing methanol,” said FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen M. Hahn. “The production, importation and distribution of toxic hand sanitizers pose a serious threat to the public and will not be tolerated.”
Failure by the manufacturer to recall all potentially affected products “puts consumers at risk of methanol poisoning,” the agency said, adding that a death had previously been associated with the Blumen Hand Sanitizer, distributed by 4th North America and manufactured by 4E Global in Mexico. , which has extended its recall to other batches of its products.
The agency also sent a warning letter to Eskbiochem SA de CV, another listed manufacturer, “with respect to the distribution of products labeled as manufactured at its facilities with undeclared methanol, misleading claims – including falsely indicating that the FDA has approved these products – and inappropriate manufacturing practices “.
4th North America did not immediately respond to FOX Business’s requests for comment. Eskbiochem SA de CV could not be contacted for comment.
The FDA quickly added to its list not to use of hazardous hand sanitizers since June, when the regulator observed an increase in the number of hand sanitizers that allegedly contained ethanol but tested positive for methanol contamination.
To date, ongoing FDA testing has found that methanol contamination in hand sanitizer products ranges from 1 to 80%.
In most cases, the toxic chemical does not appear on the label, according to the FDA. However, “methanol is not an acceptable ingredient in any drug, including hand sanitizer, even though methanol is listed as an ingredient on the product label,” the agency said.
Substantial exposure can lead to nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent nervous system damage or death, according to the FDA. Consumers with symptoms should seek “immediate treatment,” the agency said.
The FDA investigation into the methanol contamination is ongoing. Its full list of recalled products, which will be updated as more information becomes available, can be found at that of the agency website.