Please do not drink hand sanitizer. It when consumed be it by accident or otherwise can be very dangerous, that we should all be aware of. 

According to CNN over several weeks in May, a few interesting cases of deaths and injury were reported involving hand sanitizer, and they are truly heartbreaking to hear about. CNN noted that these cases were reported to New Mexico Poison Control and were related to alcoholism though details/specifics were not given. You see, hand sanitizer can contain something known as methanol which when consumed leads to methanol poisoning that can kill a person. While hand sanitizer does contain alcohol it is not a good means of getting drunk and can result in the loss of your life or leave you suffering from devastating side effects as you continue forth. 

While we do not know if these specific cases were linked to methanol poisoning it is thought that they very well could be as federal officials in the past have uncovered samples of sanitizer that contained methanol. Because one many ended up blind, which is a common thing with methanol poisoning it seems quite likely that this was the case. Sure, it might sound like these deaths were ‘silly’ but alcoholism is a dangerous issue that the world is dealing with and there is nothing silly about someone losing their life especially to addiction in that sense. 

CNN wrote as follows on this topic:

The cases were reported to New Mexico Poison Control over several weeks in May, and are related to alcoholism, health officials said. They did not provide additional details on the victims or where the incidents happened.

“If you think you may have used or consumed hand sanitizer containing methanol, please seek medical care,” state health Secretary Kathy Kunkel said in a statement. “An antidote to methanol poisoning is available, but the earlier someone gets treated for methanol poisoning the better the chance of recovery.”

Some people have been known to use hand sanitizer to get intoxicated due to its alcohol content. Before the pandemic, hand sanitizer was banned in most prisons based on fears that inmates would drink it or use it to start fires. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that facilities consider relaxing restrictions on alcohol-based sanitizer to help combat coronavirus.

This week, the Food and Drug Administration urged people not to use hand sanitizer products manufactured by Eskbiochem SA due to the potential presence of a toxic chemical.

It is quite concerning that this news comes just after we’ve been warned by the FDA not to purchase almost ten different sanitizer products coming out of Mexico as they were noted to contain methanol. During times like these where we are all using a lot of hand sanitizer and it is so high in demand, learning that corners are being cut in manufacturing that could result in serious health issues is quite scary. Again while we do not know for sure if those who passed away did-so from these specific brands but things really do seem to be falling right into place. 

The New York Times weighed in on this topic stating as follows:

Dr. Warrick, who works at the New Mexico Poison Control and Drug Information Center, said that the cases stretched across two states and multiple counties.

Hand sanitizer usually contains ethanol or isopropyl alcohol, Dr. Warrick said, but is toxic when it contains methanol.

Swallowing methanol can be lethal, he said. For those who survive, brain damage or blindness are common side effects because the toxin damages the optic nerve and the brain.

According to the F.D.A., the toxin can also cause kidney damage.

Historically, a greater number of methanol poisonings have occurred in times when alcohol is difficult to come by, Dr. Warrick said.

“Since hand sanitizer is hard to find in the Covid era, I suspect there is an association with Covid,” he said.

If a person ingests hand sanitizer he or she should seek medical care immediately.

Please do try your best to keep your health in mind when it comes to things like this. Keep up to date on the things the FDA is saying and don’t drink hand sanitizer or use it in a way that’s not appropriate. This really does go to show how much of a chaos storm 2020 truly has been so far.

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