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FDA Warns of Hazardous Hand Sanitizers

July 8, 2020

Facility managers concerned with the health of their building patrons are making hand sanitizer available throughout the facility. They will need to be diligent in reading the hand sanitizer ingredient labels as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has listed several more brands containing the toxic ingredient methanol, Newsweek reports. 

The FDA first warned of toxic hand sanitizers on June 19. All the sanitizers, which were manufactured in Mexico, contain methanol, can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or digested. Last week, the FDA added five more hand sanitizer brands to the list.

According to the FDA, methanol, or wood alcohol, is not an acceptable ingredient in hand sanitizers. Exposure to methanol can cause nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system, or death. Children who use hand sanitizers with methanol and accidentally ingest it are at a risk for methanol poisoning, as are adults who drink the sanitizer as a substitute for alcohol.

Anyone who has been exposed to hand sanitizer containing methanol should seek immediate medical treatment. The FDA recommends placing the hand sanitizer in a hazardous waste container, if available, or disposing of it as recommended by local waste management and recycling centers. Do not flush or pour these products down the drain or mix them with other liquids.

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