The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned that consumers should stay away from using nine brands of possibly toxic hand sanitizer that may contain methanol or wood alcohol, a substance that is potentially dangerous when it is absorbed through the skin or ingested. According to a CBS News report, the agency’s alert comes at a time when hand sanitizers are in especially heavy demand due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has public health officials urging people to wash their hands frequently.
In issuing its warning, the FDA said Mexico-based manufacturer, Eskbiochem SA de CV, had declined its request to remove these potentially dangerous products from the U.S. market. Agency tests found samples of one product, Lavar Gel, containing 81% methanol, and those of CleanCare No Germ contained 28% of the substance. The FDA says it is not aware of any adverse effects from using these products. The hand sanitizers listed in the FDA’s warning include: All-Clean, Esk Biochem, CleanCare NoGerm, Lavar 70, The Good Gel and Saniderm.
The Effects of Methanol
Methanol is a substance that the FDA considers to be unacceptable for use in hand sanitizers because of its toxic effects. The agency urged consumers to stop using these products, which officials say, should be disposed of in hazardous waste containers. Officials also advise that these products should never be flushed down the toilet or poured down the drain.
Anyone who has been exposed to hand sanitizer containing methanol should seek immediate treatment, which is potentially critical in reversing the toxic effects of methanol poisoning, the FDA states. Substantial exposure to methanol could result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, and permanent damage to the nervous system or in some cases, even death. Young children who accidentally ingest these products and adolescents or adults who drink them as alcohol are most at risk for methanol poisoning.
Product Liability Issues
Toxic exposure is obviously a serious concern with these particular products. It is of concern especially at a time when everyone, from average consumers to front line healthcare workers, is using hand sanitizers frequently to help prevent the coronavirus. If you or a loved one has suffered adverse health effects as a result of these products, you may be able to seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, permanent injuries and pain and suffering. An experienced product defect lawyer will be able to advise you regarding your legal rights and options.