Earlier in the summer, the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) issued a repeated warning to all US citizens about hand sanitizers entering the United States that contained methanol, otherwise known as wood alcohol. Methanol is used to create fuel and antifreeze and, as you can imagine, is quite toxic if absorbed through the skin and life-threatening if ingested.
Methanol is not always listed as an ingredient in hand sanitizers
The disturbing piece to the story is that methanol is not always – or “in most cases” in the FDA’s words – listed on the ingredients label. Even worse, the labels will indicate that the hand sanitizers have been FDA-approved when, in fact, they have not. As a result, consumers using methanol-based hand sanitizers have experienced “blindness, cardiac effects, effects on the central nervous system, and hospitalizations and death.”
One such company on the list is Blumen Hand Sanitizer which is distributed by 4e North America and manufactured by 4E Global in Mexico. They issued and have subsequently expended their recall.
Be vigilant about the hand sanitizers you buy. Be sure to consult with the FDA’s list of hand sanitizers to avoid: FDA updates on hand sanitizers consumers should not use. The FDA goes on to say that consumers should avoid hand sanitizers from all manufacturers on the list even if the lot number is not identified.
Possible side effects of SHORT-term exposure to Methanol
- Acid in the blood that could lead to death
- Visual problems that could lead to blindness
- Nerve damage
- Dizziness and headaches
- Nausea and vomiting
- Movement disorders, i.e., Parkinson’s disease
- Loss of smell
- Dermatitis (if used on the skin)
Possible side effects of LONG-term exposure to Methanol
- Loss of consciousness, coma, seizure, or death
- Blurred vision and blindness
- Nerve and brain damage
- Birth defects
SanitiSpray™ hand sanitizer contains 80% ethyl alcohol as recommended by CDC/WHO guidelines. It’s FDA-approved, medical-grade sanitizer and produced in the USA.