NEW YORK (WKBW) — The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to update its list of hand sanitizers contaminated with methanol which consumers should avoid.
The Upstate New York Poison Center says methanol, or wood alcohol, is not approved for use in hand sanitizers. It is often used in pesticides, paint thinner and antifreeze, although rare it can be toxic if absorbed through the skin and deadly if ingested.
The center says since mid-July in its 54 county service area it has received 49 calls about these products. It also says overall calls for information on hand sanitizers has more than doubled from last year.
Most hand sanitizers contain ethyl alcohol, or ethanol, and although dangerous if ingested is safe to use to keep your hands clean.
“Unfortunately, with these products, there is no way for consumers to tell if the product contains methanol,” says Gail Banach, director of public education and communications at the Upstate New York Poison Center, “Methanol is not approved for use in hand sanitizers, so it will not be listed on the ingredient panel, even if it is inside, so we recommend everyone check the list from the FDA.”
To view the full list of hand sanitizers the FDA recommends consumers avoid, you can visit the FDA website here.
"Consumers are asked to check the FDA’s list and compare the information with any hand sanitizer they may have in the home including: manufacturer name, product name and national drug code (NDC) number."
You may call the Upstate New York Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 with any questions.