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These Are the Hand Sanitizers the FDA Says Are “Toxic”

All contain methanol, a potentially fatal contaminant.

Ethanol and isopropanol are the two kinds of alcohol that should be found in hand sanitizers. At concentrations of 60 and 70 percent, respectively, the CDC says they are effective and safe. Methanol, or wood alcohol, is not an appropriate ingredient because it can be toxic and fatal to humans.

And yet, the FDA has found an alarming number of hand sanitizers that do contain methanol. After nine products from one company were identified last month, five more have been found recently. That’s 14 different hand sanitizers that are potentially dangerous.

Exposure to methanol can cause nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system, and death. These risks are most acute when ingested, of course, but it’s also possible to experience these symptoms when methanol is absorbed through the skin.

So far, fourteen different brands of hand sanitizer have tested positive for methanol contamination. All were manufactured in Mexico.

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  • Grupo Insoma, S.A.P.I de CV Hand sanitizer Gel Unscented 70% Alcohol
  • Transliquid Technologies Mystic Shield Protection hand sanitizer
  • Soluciones Cosmeticas SA de CV Bersih Hand Sanitizer Gel Fragrance Free
  • Soluciones Cosmeticas SA de CV Antiseptic Alcohol 70% Topical Solution hand sanitizer
  • Tropicosmeticos SA de CV Britz Hand Sanitizer Ethyl Alcohol 70%
  • Eskbiochem SA de CV All-Clean Hand Sanitizer
  • Eskbiochem SA de CV Esk Biochem Hand Sanitizer
  • Eskbiochem SA de CV Lavar 70 Gel Hand Sanitizer
  • Eskbiochem SA de CV The Good Gel Antibacterial Gel Hand Sanitizer
  • Eskbiochem SA de CV CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol
  • Eskbiochem SA de CV CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol
  • Eskbiochem SA de CV CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol
  • Eskbiochem SA de CV Saniderm Advanced Hand Sanitizer

In addition to these specific products, the FDA advises consumers to avoid hand sanitizers from these companies, as it’s possible that products not yet found to have methanol contamination are also dangerous.

For an updated list of products and more information, including the FDA-issued NDC numbers to identify the affected products with certainty, visit the FDA’s website.