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These Hand Sanitizers Could Be Toxic, Warns the FDA

According to the FDA, some hand sanitizers contain a toxic ingredient that could seriously harm you.
Male hand using hand skin sanitizer gel tube for washing hand at subway station. Health awareness for pandemic protection

Hand sanitizer can help protect you from becoming infected with COVID-19, but it can also be potentially damaging to your health. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, there are a number of hand sanitizers on the market that are actually toxic, and when absorbed through your skin or ingested could seriously harm your health. 

Toxic When Absorbed Through Skin

The FDA added five hand sanitizers to its list of products that have tested positive for a toxic chemical, methanol. 

  • Grupo Insoma's Hand Sanitizer Gel Unscented, 70% alcohol
  • Transliquid Technologies' Mystic Shield Protection Hand Sanitizer
  • Soluciones Cosmeticas' Bersih Hand Sanitizer Gel Fragrance Free
  • Soluciones Cosmeticas Antiseptic Alcohol 70% Topical Solution Hand Sanitizer
  • Tropicosmeticos' Britz Hand Sanitizer Ethyl Alcohol 70%
  • Previously, the FDA called out 9 others, including All-Clean Hand Sanitizer and Esk Biochem Hand Sanitizer, as reported in Best Life here.

"FDA is warning consumers and health care providers that the agency has seen 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," they announced. "Methanol, or wood alcohol, is a substance that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested and can be life-threatening when ingested."

They added that recent "adverse events" attributed to the ingestion of hand sanitizer contaminated with methanol includes "blindness, hospitalizations and death."

How to Seek Treatment

"Consumers who have been exposed to hand sanitizer containing methanol and are experiencing symptoms should seek immediate treatment for potential reversal of toxic effects of methanol poisoning," they explained, listing potential symptoms 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 (ethanol) substitute, are most at risk."

You can find a complete list of toxic hand sanitizers on the FDA's website

The FDA also reminds people to practice diligent hand hygiene, washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent ethanol (also referred to as ethyl alcohol) should only be used if soap and water are not readily available.  As for yourself, wear your face mask, social distance, wash your hands frequently, monitor your health, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these Things You Should Never Do During the Coronavirus Pandemic.

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