The FDA Wants You to Stop Using These 60 Toxic Hand Sanitizers Right Now

A large numbers of hand sanitizers may have one ingredient that could lead to blindness or death.

Good hand hygiene is one of the best ways you can protect yourself against the coronavirus. Ideally, you've been washing your hands with soap and water amid the pandemic. But when you're not near a sink, you're supposed to be using hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol instead. However, not all hand sanitizers fit the bill, it turns out. As reliable alcohol-based hand sanitizers continuously sell out amid the pandemic, there are some substitutes you shouldn't be grabbing instead. In June, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) highlighted nine hand sanitizers that include toxic ingredients. And now, that number has since risen: The FDA is warning people against using nearly 60 toxic hand sanitizers on the market.

The FDA has called out a total of 59 hand sanitizer products so far, each labeled to contain ethyl alcohol, referred to as ethanol, but they actually tested positive for methanol, otherwise known as wood alcohol. According to the agency, methanol can be toxic when absorbed through the skin. And if ingested, it can be life-threatening.

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

black woman putting hand sanitizer on her hands

Some of the nearly 60 toxic hand sanitizers they are warning against include many Blumen products, Assured products, LumiSkin products, and the Hello Kitty hand sanitizer by Sanrio. All the products listed thus far appear to have been manufactured in Mexico, but may have been distributed worldwide through online sites like Amazon.

If you have been exposed to hand sanitizer with methanol, the FDA recommends that you seek immediate treatment, as exposure can result in "nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system, or death."

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The FDA says they are "aware" of several adults and children who have ingested hand sanitizer with methanol, which has led to "recent adverse effects including blindness, hospitalizations, and death." And for more hand sanitizer information to know, check out 6 Subtle Signs You Need to Replace Your Hand Sanitizer.

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