The FDA is expanding their warning about certain hand sanitizers made in Mexico due to the potentially toxic ingredient methanol

News Release: HAMILTON, Bermuda – Under the Consumer Protection Act 1999, section 23 (1) a, b, c, Consumer Affairs in partnership with Environmental Health have undertaken the necessary recall procedures – in cooperation with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – regarding 135 methanol contaminated hand sanitizers.

Product Names: Various. Please see the attached list of products, which have been tested by the FDA and found to contain methanol and microbial contamination. Some of the products do not contain a sufficient amount of ethyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol or benzalkonium chloride, while others fraudulently market the product as “FDA-approved.”

Description: This recall involves 135 methanol contaminated hand sanitizers.

HazardMethanol is used industrially as a solvent, pesticide and alternative fuel source, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Exposure to it can cause nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system and death. The agency says that in most cases, methanol does not appear on the product label but that it is “not an acceptable ingredient in any drug, including hand sanitizer, even if methanol is listed as an ingredient on the product label.” Methanol, or wood alcohol, is a substance that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested – and can be life-threatening if ingested. Children ingesting hand sanitizer products contaminated with methanol have had adverse events including blindness, hospitalizations and death. FDA warning and guidance: Ingestion of this product could potentially occur when eating a sandwich after using the hand sanitizers, or children sucking on their fingers.

RemedyConsumers should immediately stop using the 135 hand sanitizers identified in the attached list and dispose of them immediately. Local consumers are urged to check any hand sanitizers before they purchase, to ensure that they do not contain methanol.

All local distributors of hand sanitizers are urged to remove the affected products from store shelves immediately and destroy them. In addition, local stores mixing their own hand sanitizer formulas should make sure that they do not contain methanol.