According to a warning from the Food and Drug Administration, U.S. consumers should avoid nine brands of potentially toxic hand sanitizer on account of the fact that they may contain substances you don't want to absorb into your skin or ingest. Specifically, methanol and wood alcohol.
In that warning, the FDA says that Eskbiochem SA de CV, a manufacturer based in Mexico, has snubbed their request to take out "potentially dangerous products" from the U.S. market. Tests by the government agency found one of their products, Lavar Gel, contained 81 percent methanol.
The FDA says that methanol is unacceptable for use in hand sanitizers due to its toxicity. If you have any products mentioned in the list below, the best move would be to toss them into a hazardous waste containers. If that's not available, for whatever reason, just don't dispose of them via the plumbing. The agency warns against both flushing these products down the toilet, or washing them down the drain.
Here's a list so, I don't know, commit this to your photographic memory or make a card:
- 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)
The FDA adds that they know of no adverse effects coming from any products, but that consumers who used hand sanitizer with methanol in it should get treatment due to the possibility of methanol poisoning.
Effects from high exposure to methanol can cause: nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death.
Those most at risk for this particular brand of poisoning include people who ingest it, whether they be kids doing it on accident, or teens/adults downing it as an alcohol substitute.