CDC issues health advisory on methanol-based hand sanitizers

National News

ATLANTA, Georgia (KCAU) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a health advisory regarding methanol-based hand sanitizers.

According to the CDC, most commercially available alcohol-based hand sanitizers or rubs (ABHSR) contain either ethanol or isopropanol as active ingredients.

On June 19, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advised consumers to not use any hand sanitizer manufactured by “Eskbiochem SA de CV” in Mexico due to the potential presence of methanol, “toxic alcohol”, as an active ingredient.

Methanol can cause blindness and/or death when absorbed through the skin or when swallowed.

Since that announcement, the FDA has identified additional ABHSR products that contain methanol and is working with manufacturers and distributors on a voluntary recall of these products.

The CDC is recommending that individuals:

  • Seek immediate medical attention and contact their poison center at 1-800-222-1222 for advice if individuals have swallowed an ABHSR product or are experiencing symptoms from repeated use of these products that are on the “FDA’s testing and manufacturer’s recalls” list.
  • Stop using any ABHSR that is on the “FDA’s testing and manufacturer’s recalls” list because using the methanol-containing products may result in serious adverse health issues like blindness and death.
  • Never swallow ABHSR and only use them for their intended purpose.
  • Keep alcohol-based hand sanitizers and rubs out of reach of children and supervise their use.
  • Check the hand-sanitizer products against the FDA’s testing and manufacturer’s recalls list.
    • The CDC stated if a product is on the list, stop using it and dispose of it immediately in appropriate hazardous waste containers. Do not flush them or pour them down the drain.

For FDA updates on hand sanitizers containing alcohol, click here.

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