FDA Recalls Hand Sanitizers with Methanol Made by Some Mexico Manufacturers
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) recently warned consumers that at least 13 hand sanitizers made in Mexico and available on U.S. shelves could contain poison and should not be used. The agency said it is seeing a “sharp increase in hand sanitizer products that are labeled to contain ethanol [also known as ethyl alcohol] but that have tested positive for methanol contamination.”
Ethanol is the ingredient in hand sanitizer that kills germs. Methanol is a substance that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested, the FDA said. Methanol, also known as wood alcohol, is often used to make fuel and antifreeze.
The FDA created a chart outlining the information on hand sanitizer labels for consumers to use to identify a product that has been tested by the FDA and found to contain methanol. The products listed are being recalled by the manufacturers or distributors, and are purportedly made at the same facility as products in which the FDA has tested and confirmed methanol contamination.
While the FDA advises consumers not to use hand sanitizers from these companies or products with these names or NDC numbers, medical experts say it’s likely that the hand sanitizers most people have at home are safe.
“Hand sanitizers are still a very good way of disinfecting your hands,” Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital Dr. Juan Dumois told Fox 32 Chicago. “I think we can assume that most hand sanitizers are safe.”