FDA Expands List of Recalled Hand Sanitizers Containing Toxic Methanol
The recall now includes 75 brands sold at retailers nationwide.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans have been washing their hands frequently and stocking up on hand sanitizer. Unfortunately, not all sanitizers on the market are safe. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just expanded its recall list to include 75 hand sanitizers due to toxic methanol contamination.
The FDA notes in a release there has been an increase in hand sanitizers that contain ethanol, which is also known as ethyl alcohol. However, some of these products have actually tested positive for methanol, which is not an approved active ingredient in hand sanitizers. Methanol, also called wood alcohol, can be toxic when absorbed through your skin, and even life-threatening if you ingest it.
You can see the full list of recalled hand sanitizers on the FDA's website. The agency published the first version of the roundup on June 19, and it's been updated periodically since then. If you've used a hand sanitizer with methanol and are experiencing symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, headache, or blurred vision, seek treatment from a medical professional as you could have methanol poisoning. (Significant exposure can cause blindness, seizures, coma, damage to the nervous system, and even death.) People of all ages are at risk for these complications.
Some of these recalled brands are sold at major retailers where you probably shop, such as Walmart and Costco, so you'll want to double-check the product before you buy. (Oh, and don't try making your hand sanitizer as experts warn against it.) Using soap and warm water is actually better than using hand sanitizer, so if you can, suds up your hands for 20 seconds, rinse off, and dry thoroughly.