If You're Using Either of These Hand Sanitizers, Stop Immediately, FDA Warns

Two hand sanitizers have been recalled following laboratory testing.

Many of us became more accustomed to using hand sanitizer during the COVID pandemic. While it ultimately proved to be far less protective against the virus than other mitigation measures, like masks and social distancing, it was a convenient way to keep our hands germ-free—and it still serves that useful purpose. But if you're using one brand's hand sanitizers, you'll want to know about a new recall that affects two different products. Read on to find out if your hand sanitizer could be doing more harm than good.

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Best Brands is recalling two kinds of hand sanitizer.

Mom Giving Her Child Hand Sanitizer on the Beach bad parenting

If you're a Disney fan, and especially if you've got kids, pay close attention to this notice posted April 1 on the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) website: Best Brand Consumers Products, Inc. has issued a voluntary recall on The Mandalorian Hand Sanitizer Ethyl Alcohol 68% (available in green or blue) and Mickey Mouse Hand Sanitizer Ethyl Alcohol 68% (blue). During laboratory testing, the FDA detected the presence of benzene in the Mandalorian hand sanitizer, and methanol in the Mickey Mouse hand sanitizer. Both of these substances can be very dangerous.

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The hand sanitizers may contain benzene or methanol, which pose substantial risks.

woman experiencing nausea and stomach pain

As the FDA notice explains, benzene is classified as a human carcinogen. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), long-term exposure to benzene "causes harmful effects on the bone marrow and can cause a decrease in red blood cells, leading to anemia. It can also cause excessive bleeding and can affect the immune system, increasing the chance for infection." Furthermore, "Long-term exposure to high levels of benzene in the air can cause leukemia, cancer of the blood-forming organs," the CDC adds.

Methanol carries its own risks after long-term exposure. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that "chronic inhalation or oral exposure to methanol may result in headache, dizziness, giddiness, insomnia, nausea, gastric disturbances, conjunctivitis, visual disturbances (blurred vision), and blindness in humans." The FDA recall notice says that anyone using the recalled Mickey Mouse hand sanitizer on their hands is at risk, but that children who accidentally consume the hand sanitizer or older people who do so intentionally are at the highest risk of methanol poisoning.

Here's how to know if you have the recalled hand sanitizer at home.

woman using hand sanitizer

Concerned you may have purchased the recalled hand sanitizer from Best Brands? The recalled Mickey Mouse Hand Sanitizer Ethyl Alcohol 68% in blue came in a 2.11 fl. oz. bottle. It has a lot number of 20D21, NDC number 74530-013-02, and expiration date 6/30/2022, per the FDA notice. The Mandalorian Hand Sanitizer Ethyl Alcohol 68% in blue or green also came in a 2.11 fl. oz. bottle. That bottle has lot number 20E21, NDC number 74530-012-02, and expiration date 9/30/2022.

And here's what to do if you do have the hand sanitizer.

woman using hand sanitizer
Shutterstock / Elizaveta Galitckaia

The FDA advises customers with either of the recalled Best Brands hand sanitizers to stop using and discard them right away. You can contact Best Brands directly for more information about the recall, or to request a refund. Their email is [email protected]

But you should also make sure you or your loved ones aren't experiencing any negative effects from using the hand sanitizer. The FDA suggests that you contact your healthcare provider if you do have any symptoms, but you can also report any bad reactions to the FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program.

These are not the only hand sanitizers subject to a recent recall.

Senior woman taking care of her hand hygiene and protects herself with facial mask as her age group is mostly affected by viruses

If a hand sanitizer recall sounds familiar, that may be because there was another one just last month. Per a notice posted on the FDA site on March 7, Tennessee Technical Coatings Corp. recalled all lots of HAND SANITIZER Isopropyl Alcohol Antiseptic 75%. That hand sanitizer was also pulled from the market after FDA analysis detected methanol, as in the Mickey Mouse hand sanitizer. A full list of the affected batch and NDC numbers is available on the FDA site.

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