The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expanded its list of hand sanitiser products that pose a potentially deadly risk to consumers.
This warning was aimed at a Mexican-based company that sells products containing methanol, a form of alcohol that has harmful poisoning properties if used on the skin.
According to a CNN report, due to the large demand of hand sanitisers amidst the pandemic and growing coronavirus fears, there has been a shortage of mainstream products. Because of this, the FDA also reported that a number of companies are now using dangerous alcohols in their products and are now warning consumers about them.
The FDA shared, “Manufacturers’ failure to immediately recall a potentially affected products is placing consumers in danger of methanol poisoning.”
It added, “A warning letter has been issued to Eskbiochem S.A. de C.V. for distributing product with undeclared methanol, unapproved claims – including incorrectly stating FDA approval- and improper manufacturing practices.”
The FDA released another statement on July 31 (Friday) saying, “FDA continues to find issues with certain hand sanitizer products. FDA test results show certain hand sanitizers have concerningly low levels of ethyl alcohol or isopropyl alcohol, which are active ingredients in hand sanitizer products. The agency urges consumers not to use these subpotent products and has expanded its list to include subpotent hand sanitizers, in addition to hand sanitizers that are or may be contaminated with methanol.”
The agency had released an earlier statement, warning the public about these methanol-containing hand sanitisers being sold in retail stores and online last June. They cautioned buyers about “an increasing number of adverse events, including blindness, cardiac effects, effects of the central nervous system, and hospitalizations and death, primarily reported to poison control centers and state departments of health. The agency continues to see these figures rise.”
It went on to say, “Although people using these products on their hands are at risk for methanol poisoning, young children who accidentally ingest these products and adolescents and adults who drink these products as an alcohol (ethanol) substitute are most at risk. Consumers who have been exposed to hand sanitizer containing methanol and are experiencing symptoms should seek immediate medical treatment for potential reversal of toxic effects of methanol poisoning.”
The FDA Commissioner, Dr Stephen Hahn said, “Consumers must also be vigilant about which hand sanitizers they use, and for their health and safety we urge consumers to immediately stop using all hand sanitizers on the FDA’s list of dangerous hand sanitizer products.”
“We remain extremely concerned about the potential serious risks of alcohol-based hand sanitizers containing methanol. Producing, importing and distributing toxic hand sanitizers poses a serious threat to the public and will not be tolerated. The FDA will take additional action as necessary and will continue to provide the latest information on this issue for the health and safety of consumers,” he added.
The agency goes on to remind the public to follow the standard health and safety guidelines of washing hands, wearing masks and practising social distancing.
The FDA also reminds the public “that no drugs, including hand sanitizers, are approved to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
See the complete list of hand sanitizers consumers should not use here. /TISG
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