FDA warns to avoid over 75 ‘toxic’ hand sanitisers

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New Delhi (NVI): The US Food and Drug Administration has expanded its list of toxic hand sanitizers due to the presence of methanol, a toxic substance that could result in death.

According to the FDA, there are now a total of 76 kinds of hand sanitizers on the updated list of toxic products, some of which have already been recalled while others are being recommended for recalls.

All of the hand sanitizers on the list were apparently produced in Mexico.

The FDA said in a statement that, it has seen a rise in the number of hand sanitizer products labeled to contain ethanol, but have tested positive for methanol, which can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested.

“The US Food and Drug Administration continues to warn consumers and health care professionals not to use certain alcohol-based hand sanitizers due to the dangerous presence of methanol, or wood alcohol – a substance often used to create fuel and antifreeze that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin as well as life-threatening when ingested,” read the official FDA statement issued yesterday.

“Substantial methanol exposure can result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death,” it added.

Moreover, the FDA’s ongoing testing has found methanol contamination in hand sanitizer products ranging from 1 per cent to 80 per cent.

“Consumers must also be vigilant about which hand sanitizers they use, and for their health and safety we urge consumers to immediately stop using all hand sanitizers on the FDA’s list of dangerous hand sanitizer products,” FDA Commissioner Dr Stephen Hahn said in a statement.

Earlier this month, the FDA first warned consumers about nine hand sanitizer products to avoid due to the possible presence of methanol, two weeks later, more brands have been added to the list. The complete list can be found on the FDA’s official site.

The agency also asked the consumers to dispose off the hand santitisers mentioned in the list immediately in appropriate hazardous waste containers.

However, the FDA will take additional action as necessary and will continue to provide the latest information on this issue for the health and safety of consumers.