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While not many people realize this, sometimes the wrong things get put into our everyday products. This actually is happening with some hand sanitizers as it seems the FDA keeps finding more and more that contain wood alcohol. 

According to CNN, more than two dozen hand sanitizers that were/are sold by the Mexico-based company known as 4E Global have contained things like wood alcohol or have high levels of methanol within them. These sanitizers containing things like this can be deadly to those who use them and it’s a real issue that can have lasting effects. Right now, considering how much hand sanitizer is being used globally with the pandemic, this is a problem that we don’t need to be having. 

CNN wrote as follows on the topic:

There are now 55 varieties of hand sanitizers on the FDA’s list of toxic products. Nearly all of them were manufactured in Mexico.

Wood alcohol is used in antifreeze and fuel production. Exposure can also cause nausea, headaches, dizziness, agitation, amnesia, coma and seizures, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Proper hand hygiene is an effective response to Covid-19, the CDC says, and the agency recommends using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol.

According to the FDA there has been a ‘sharp increase’ in hand sanitizer products that are labeled to contain ethanol but have tested positive for methanol contamination. Methanol or wood alcohol can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or when ingested. Those who come in contact with it face serious health issues, and we should be especially wary of our children coming into contact with this kind of thing as it would be devastating for smaller humans.

The FDA wrote as follows about all of this:

The agency is aware of adults and children ingesting hand sanitizer products contaminated with methanol that has led to recent adverse events including blindness, hospitalizations and death.

Methanol is not an acceptable active ingredient for hand sanitizers and must not be used due to its toxic effects. FDA’s investigation of methanol in certain hand sanitizers is ongoing. The agency will provide additional information as it becomes available.

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. Substantial methanol exposure can result in 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 accidently ingest these products and adolescents and adults who drink these products as an alcohol (ethanol) substitute, are most at risk.

FDA reminds consumers to wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing one’s nose. If soap and water are not readily available, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend consumers use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent ethanol (also referred to as ethyl alcohol).

To learn more about this take a look at the video below. Please do take the time to check the FDA’s list and be aware of the brands you should not be using. This is not something that we should assume ‘won’t happen to us’ as it can and it might if we are not all careful.