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Warning issued for more hand sanitizers containing methanol :

July 6, 2020

Health care providers and parents are urged to check the labels on their hand sanitizer after more products were found to contain methanol.

Methanol should not be used in hand sanitizers due to its toxic effects, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are aware of recent adverse events occurring after children and adults ingested hand sanitizer products contaminated with methanol.

Products containing methanol, or wood alcohol, are made by Eskbiochem, Tropicosmeticos, Soluciones Cosmeticas, Transliquid Technologies and Grupo Insoma in Mexico. A complete list of manufacturers, product names and NDC numbers is posted on the FDA website.

Methanol can be poisonous if absorbed through the skin or ingested. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death.

Clinicians should watch for methanol poisoning in any patient who presents with “a history of alcohol-based hand sanitizer or rub ingestion or repeated use of these products on the skin,” according to a notice from the CDC Health Alert Network.

Poisoning risk is highest when young children accidentally swallow products containing methanol or when adolescents or adults intentionally swallow the products as an alcohol substitute, according to the CDC. Methanol poisoning also is possible after repeated use of these products on the skin.

Clinicians and consumers are urged to seek immediate medical attention if they experience symptoms from repeated use of these products on skin or if they swallowed methanol-containing alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Report adverse events or quality problems related to hand sanitizers to the FDA MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program.

Products containing methanol should be disposed in hazardous waste containers. They should not be flushed or poured down a drain, according to the FDA.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds to remove germs. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Keep hand sanitizers out of children’s reach and supervise children ages 5 and younger when they use hand sanitizer.

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