FDA: toxic hand sanitizers have blinded and killed people

FDA: toxic hand sanitizers have blinded and killed people

Adults and children in the United States have been blinded, hospitalized, and, in some cases, even died after drinking hand sanitizers contaminated with the extremely toxic alcohol methanol, the Food and Drug Administration reports.

In an updated safety warning, the agency identified five more brands of hand sanitizer that contain methanol, a simple alcohol often linked to incorrectly distilled liquor that is poisonous if ingested, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin, USA Today reported.

The newly identified products are in addition to nine methanol-containing sanitizers the FDA identified last month, which are all made by the Mexico-based manufacturer Eskbiochem SA de CV. According to FDA testing, one of the products contained 81% methanol and no ethanol, a safe alcohol typically used in hand sanitizers. At the time, the agency reported that it was "not aware of any reports of adverse events associated with these hand sanitizer products."

However, in the current warning the FDA said that state officials have since reported to the agency instances of "adults and children ingesting hand sanitizer products contaminated with methanol that has led to recent adverse events including blindness, hospitalizations and death."


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