FDA warns about using certain hand sanitizers, may be more harmful than helpful

The best hand sanitizer is the kind you make yourself at home. A previous article on revealed a very simple way to do this. Sadly, a recent story caused buyers beware in regards to sanitizing your hands.

The FDA is warning us about some hand sanitizers from Mexico which may contain a toxic ingredient. Don’t rub it on your hands or ingest it. I know you’re smart enough not to do that but just in case!

The ingredient is Methanol, a substance that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or life-threatening when ingested. Methanol is not an acceptable ingredient for hand sanitizers. Because of its toxic effects, it should NOT be used. The FDA’s investigation of methanol in certain hand sanitizers is ongoing. The agency is aware of adults and children ingesting hand sanitizer products contaminated with methanol. As a result, that has led to recent adverse events including blindness, hospitalizations and death.

Substantial methanol exposure can result in many uncomfortable effects. Those include nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death. Although all persons using these products on their hands are at risk for methanol poisoning, young children who accidentally ingest these products and adolescents and adults who drink these products as an alcohol substitute, are most at risk.

FDA reminds consumers to wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing one’s nose. If soap and water are not readily available, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend consumers use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent ethanol (also referred to as ethyl alcohol).

Some examples of brands to avoid are Andy’s Best, Assured Instant Hand Sanitizer, Blumen Advanced Hand Sanitizer, CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer, Hello Kitty Hand Sanitizer, and Herbacil Antiseptic Hand Sanitizer.

A full-list of the Methanol containing hand sanitizers is listed here.




Jeff Kode

Jeff Kode has previously written articles for The Arizona Republic, as well as other publications including Echo Magazine and IONAZ Magazine. He is an enthusiastic movie lover, and enjoys discovering new music. He was previously on air middays with his own show The Sugar Rush, 6-9 am on The Morning Beat with Steve and Jeff, and can now be heard during the afternoon drive 3 to 5 pm at 88.7 The Pulse.