The FDA just added another handful of hand sanitizer products to its recall list, which now includes 212 products.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, hand sanitizer has been a hot commodity. Unfortunately, not all hand sanitizer is created equal and deemed safe by the FDA. Earlier this week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning and recall about 212 hand sanitizer products because some have been deemed potentially unsafe or ineffective “ineffective due to methanol contamination, or because they contain concerningly low levels of ethyl alcohol or isopropyl alcohol, which are active ingredients in hand sanitizer products.”
Methanol is commonly used in antifreeze and solvents and is poisonous to humans. Prolonged exposure can result in “nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death,” according to the FDA.
The federal agency has been adding to its hand sanitizer recall list for months. Since November, 10 new products have been added to the list, which can be found here.
What should consumers know about hand sanitizer, though? What should they look for when shopping for sanitizer? For starters, consumers should always look for “alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent isopropyl or ethyl alcohol,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If you or anyone you know is experiencing adverse reactions due to using hand sanitizer, contact a healthcare provider and report the matter to the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program.
The FDA’s investigation into the use of methanol in hand sanitizer is still ongoing.