The federal Food and Drug Administration has issued an urgent warning to both consumers and health care providers, particularly those who work with children, about methanol detected in some brands of hand sanitizer. Ethyl alcohol is listed as the active ingredient, but tests are finding methanol in some products. Hand sanitizer has been a vital weapon against COVID-19 as it can kill the virus on contact, but methanol can have dangerous reactions, especially in children.
Most of the hand sanitizer on the list of contaminated products is manufactured in Mexico. According to the FDA, “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.”
Symptoms of methanol poisoning include nausea, vomiting, headaches, blurred vision, permanent blindness, and seizures. Anyone experiencing symptoms needs medical help immediately.
The complete list of contaminated products can be found at fda.gov. Hand sanitizer is recommended when soap and water are not available.
Reporting for WGRT – Jennie McClelland