The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning against hand sanitizer products made by Eskbiochem, a Mexican company. The reason for this warning is because the hand sanitizers reportedly contain methanol, a toxic chemical that poses “potential danger.” The warning applies to nine sanitizers made by Eskbiochem.
According to an FDA statement, all nine samples of Eskbiochem hand sanitizers tested positive for methanol. Scientists say that methanol exposure can induce vomiting, blurred vision, seizures, permanent damage to the nervous system, nausea, permanent blindness, or death in rare cases. If people recently used hand sanitizers from this company, they may be at risk for methanol poisoning. The greatest risk for methanol poisoning is ingesting methanol, either purposefully or accidentally.
What Hand Sanitizers Should You Avoid?
The FDA advises people to avoid all Eskbiochem hand sanitizers. The company manufactures the following products:
- 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)
- Esk Biochem Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-007-01)
- The Good Gel Antibacterial Gel Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-010-10)
- All-Clean Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-002-01)
- CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-008-04)
- Lavar 70 Gel Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-006-01)
Methanol is not acceptable for hand sanitizers because it has toxic effects. According to the FDA test sample results, Lavar Gel contained 81% (v/v) methanol and no ethyl alcohol, while CleanCare No Germ contained 28% (v/v) methanol. If you recently used any of the nine sanitizers listed above, please seek medical help to decrease your risk of toxic side effects.
What Is Methanol?
While methanol is a type of alcohol, it is very poisonous. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), methanol is in both antifreeze and racing fuel. The body metabolizes methanol into formic acid, a chemical compound that is very toxic to your cells. It is deadly if a child ingests two tablespoons of methanol, while two to eight ounces can be deadly for the average adult.
The Good News So Far
As of right now, there have been no reports of illness tied to the use of these hand sanitizers. The FDA contacted Eskbiochem to remove its hand sanitizer products from the market, due to methanol poisoning risk. Consumers should not use these products, and they should dispose of them immediately if they have them.
Remember that hand washing with soap and water is always the best option to remove germs from your hands. Hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol is a viable option when soap and water are not available.