FDA identifies 5 new toxic hand sanitizers on fears of methanol toxicity

FDA alerts consumers to avoid hand sanitizers with methanol

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has identified five more hand sanitizers that have tested positive for methanol that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin.

Methanol is a poisonous cousin of the ethyl alcohol in normal liquors and cannot be smelled or tasted in drinks. It causes organ and brain damage and can be fatal, and its symptoms include chest pain, nausea, hyperventilation, blindness and even coma.

The five additional hand sanitizers are the latest in the FDA’s ongoing investigation of methanol in certain hand sanitizers:

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  • Grupo Insoma’s Hand Sanitizer Gel Unscented 70% Alcohol (NDC: 75744-0200-3; 75744-0200-4; 75744-0201-5; 75744-0202-1; 75744-0250-1; 75744-0250-2; 75744-0500-1; 75744-1000-1; 75744-1000-3; 75744-1001-1)
  • Transliquid Technologies’ Mystic Shield Protection hand sanitizer (NDC: 75477-435-02; 75477-435-10; 75477-435-12; 75477-435-25; 75477-435-50; 75477-534-10)
  • Transliquid Technologies’ Mystic Shield Protection hand sanitizer (NDC: 75165-003-02; 75165-004-01; 75165-005-01; 75165-006-01; 75165-008-01; 75165-250-01; 75165-600-01)
  • Soluciones Cosmeticas SA de CV’s Antiseptic Alcohol 70% Topical Solution hand sanitizer (no NDC provided)
  • Tropicosmeticos SA de CV’s Britz Hand Sanitizer Ethyl Alcohol 70% (NDC: 76676-402-01; 77676-402-02; 77676-402-03; 77676-402-04; 77676-402-05; 77676-402-06; 77676-402-07; 77676-402-08; 77676-402-09; 77676-402-10; 77676-402-11; 77676-402-12; 77676-402-13; 77676-402-14; 77676-402-16; 77676-402-17; 77676-402-18; 77676-402-19; 77676-402-20)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration first issued a warning last month to consumers that certain hand sanitizers contained the toxic chemical.

The FDA issued the statement ind June advising consumers not to use any hand sanitizer manufactured by Eskbiochem SA de CV in Mexico, due to the potential presence of methanol, sometimes called wood alcohol, “which can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested.”

The FDA identified the following products manufactured by Eskbiochem:

  • All-Clean Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 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)

FDA tested samples of Lavar Gel and CleanCare No Germ. Lavar Gel contains 81% (v/v) methanol and no ethyl alcohol, and CleanCare No Germ contains 28% (v/v) methanol. Methanol is not an acceptable ingredient for hand sanitizers and should not be used due to its toxic effects.

The statement urged consumers who have used the hand sanitizer to seek immediate treatment.

Substantial methanol exposure can result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death, the FDA statement said.

The FDA contacted Eskbiochem last week to ask the company to remove the products from the market. According to the FDA, Eskbiochem has not yet taken any action and the agency is recommending consumers do not use the products.

The FDA is warning consumers to be careful in using nine types of hand sanitizers on the market now.
The FDA is warning consumers to be careful in using nine types of hand sanitizers on the market now. (Photo by LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP via Getty Images/AFP via Getty Images)