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The FDA says using non-approved hand sanitizers could be deadly

The FDA says using non-approved hand sanitizers could be deadly
Posted at 4:35 PM, Jul 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-27 16:35:41-04

The FDA continued on Monday to warn the public about using methanol-based hand sanitizers that the agency calls “dangerous.”

The FDA has published a “Do Not Use” list of products. As of Monday afternoon, 87 products are on the do not use list. Adding to the confusion for consumers, many of the products do not have methanol on the label.

Methanol can be toxic when absorbed through the skin as well as life-threatening when ingested, the FDA said. Retailers are being encouraged to recall these products.

Methanol exposure can result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death, the FDA warns.

"Practicing good hand hygiene, which includes using alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not readily available, is an important public health tool for all Americans to employ. Consumers must also be vigilant about which hand sanitizers they use, and for their health and safety we urge consumers to immediately stop using all hand sanitizers on the FDA's list of dangerous hand sanitizer products," said FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D. "We remain extremely concerned about the potential serious risks of alcohol-based hand sanitizers containing methanol. Producing, importing and distributing toxic hand sanitizers poses a serious threat to the public and will not be tolerated. The FDA will take additional action as necessary and will continue to provide the latest information on this issue for the health and safety of consumers."

The FDA’s warnings come following a hand sanitizer shortage in the consumer and commercial markets. Amid the shortage companies that do not ordinarily produce hand sanitizers began bottling products before obtaining FDA approval.