CHICAGO (CBS) — We’re all using lots of hand sanitizer these days, but watch which ones you use – because some could be dangerous.
The Food and Drug Administration advised avoiding nine products made by a company in Mexico called Eskbiochem.
The products contain methanol, or wood alcohol, which can be toxic when ingested or absorbed through the skin. However, the FDA has not heard of anyone being sickened or hurt.
The full product list includes:
• All-Clean Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-002-01)
• Esk Biochem Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-007-01)
• CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-008-04)
• Lavar 70 Gel Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-006-01)
• The Good Gel Antibacterial Gel Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-010-10)
• CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-005-03)
• CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-009-01)
• CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-003-01)
• Saniderm Advanced Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-001-01)
The FDA said it tested samples of Lavar Gel and CleanCare No Germ. LaVar Gel contained 81 percent methanol and no ethyl alcohol – which is the substance used safely in hand sanitizer – and CleanCare No Germ contained 28 percent methanol.
Consumers who have been exposed to hand sanitizer containing methanol are advised to seek immediate treatment. Substantial exposure to the chemical can cause nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death, the FDA pointed out.
Anyone who has used products containing methanol on their hands is at risk. But young children wh0 drink it accidentally – and adolescents and adults who drink it as a substitute for alcoholic beverages which would contain ethyl alcohol, are at most risk for methanol poisoning.
Hand sanitizer carries other risks – even without the dangerous chemical. In Waukegan, the combination of a liquid in a clear bottle sitting directly in the sun caused a fire in a woman’s car.