THE FDA has urgently recalled four more "potentially toxic" hand sanitizers sold at nationwide retailers including Walmart and Target.
As of July 28, 87 hand sanitizers have tested positive for methanol, a substance often used to create fuel and antifreeze that can be poisonous if absorbed through the skin and potentially fatal if ingested.
Mexican company Real Clean Distribuciones has voluntarily recalled all lots it manufactured for several brands.
These brands include: Born Basic ANTI-BAC HAND SANITIZER, Scent Theory KEEP CLEAN, Scent Theory KEEP IT CLEAN and Lux Eoi Hand Sanitizing Gel.
A majority of the products appear to have been manufactured in Mexico, but are sold nationwide including in stores such as Target and Walmart.
The FDA is urging consumers not to use any hand sanitizer products from any of the listed manufacturers, as some products are not included in the recall “since some manufacturers are recalling only certain, but not all, of their hand sanitizer products,” the FDA said.
To address the issue, the FDA is proactively working with manufacturers to recall products and urging distributors and retailers to “immediately” stop distributing and selling the gel cleansers due to the risk of methanol poisoning.
“We remain extremely concerned about the potential serious risk of alcohol-based hand sanitizers containing methanol,” said FDA Commissioner Dr Stephen M. Hahn.
“Producing, importing and distributing toxic hand sanitizers poses a serious threat to the public and will not be tolerated.”
The agency’s warning comes amid heavy demand for sanitizer due to the coronavirus pandemic, with public health officials urging consumers to frequently wash their hands and to use hand sanitizer.
For instance, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends using sanitizers that contain at least 60 percent ethanol alcohol, as well as frequent hand washing.
The FDA has been rapidly adding to its do-not-use-list of dangerous hand sanitizer products since June.
To date, the FDA’s ongoing testing found methanol contamination in hand sanitizer products ranged from 1 to 80 percent.
In most cases, the toxic chemical does not appear on the label, according to the FDA.
However, “methanol is not an acceptable ingredient in any drug, including hand sanitizer, even if methanol is listed as an ingredient on the product label,” the agency said.
Substantial exposure can result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death, according to the FDA.
The agency’s investigation into the methanol contamination is ongoing. The full list of recalled products can be viewed on the FDA’s website.
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