Updated FDA Hand Sanitizer Warning 8-5-20Jenny Abercrombie
More Hand Sanitizer Warnings Posted by the FDA
There is an ongoing and escalating issue with hand sanitizers manufactured in some factories in Mexico, and sold in stores throughout the U.S, that pose a danger to those who use them. This is due to either methanol being added or substituted for ethyl or isopropyl alcohols, or subpotent percentages of appropriate alcohols in them. The former can and has led to toxic poisonings via ingestion or absorption through the skin with known serious adverse events including blindness, heart problems, central nervous system effects, hospitalizations and death. The latter can lead to not be strong enough to kill the virus that is on the hands/arms. The FDA has posted an updated list as they test and find these dangerous hand sanitizers. The list has grown to over 100 products since the first FDA alert went out June 19, 2020. The impact to First Responders is potentially threefold. First, work supplies may contain some of these brands of hand sanitizers, putting personnel at professional risk. Secondly, they may come across those that have used these products and are displaying symptoms of methanol toxicity and need urgent medical care. And, third, they may have these hand sanitizers in their homes and be at risk for significant illness in themselves or their family.
Additionally, Health Canada is recalling certain hand-sanitizers that contain ingredients that are not approved for Canadian hand sanitizers, such as methanol, industrial-grade ethanol, and alcohol denaturants. They are updating their lists as more products not meeting approval guidelines for hand sanitizers are found. They also are providing lists of those hand sanitizers authorized for sale in Canada as well as a list of approved products in other jurisdictions that have been accepted for use by Canada during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Note: More information and links for Canadians are found below the info for the U.S.