• The FDA over the weekend expanded its list of hand sanitizer brands to avoid due to the presence of methanol, a substance that is toxic to humans when absorbed through the skin.
  • Methanol can cause a number of serious health issues, including blindness.
  • The FDA in recent weeks has identified more than 100 hand sanitizer products to be avoided.

The last thing anyone wants to worry about — especially in the middle of a global pandemic — is whether or not using a bottle of hand sanitizer might result in a trip to the hospital. It admittedly sounds bizarre, but the FDA in recent weeks has banned dozens of hand sanitizers due to the presence of methanol, otherwise known as wood alcohol.

Methanol is especially toxic when absorbed through the skin and has been found to cause a myriad of serious health issues. Some of the health problems identified by the FDA include permanent blindness, seizures, and vomiting. There have even been some tragic instances where children, who upon ingesting hand sanitizer with methanol, have died.

The FDA adds:

Consumers who have been exposed to hand sanitizer containing methanol should seek immediate treatment, which is critical for potential reversal of toxic effects of methanol poisoning. Substantial methanol exposure can result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death. Although all persons using these products on their hands are at risk, young children who accidentally ingest these products and adolescents and adults who drink these products as an alcohol (ethanol) substitute, are most at risk for methanol poisoning.

The FDA notes that shoppers looking to pick up hand sanitizer should only purchase products that contain at least 60% ethyl alcohol. In turn, the FDA has expanded its list of offending hand sanitizer brands to include “subpotent” products with an insufficient amount of ethyl alcohol or isopropyl alcohol, the “active ingredients in hand sanitizer products.”

As a result, the FDA’s list of hand sanitizer brands to avoid has swelled and now encompasses more than 100 distinct products. Most of the offending brands are manufactured in Mexico which should ideally make them somewhat easy to identify on the off-chance you see any lingering on store shelves.

The most recent additions to the FDA’s list of hand sanitizers to avoid include:

  • NEXT Hand Sanitizer manufactured by Albek de Mexico SA de CV
  • TriCleanz Tritanium Labs Hand Sanitizer manufactured by Tritanium Labs USA LLC
  • Sayab Antisepctic Hand Sanitizer 100 manufactured by JG Atlas Comercios SA de CV (Mexico)
  • TriCleanz manufactured by Incredible Products SA de CV (Mexico)
  • GelBact Hand Sanitizer manufactured by Incredible Products SA de CV (Mexico)

Hand sanitizer products manufactured by Healthy Foods & Nutrition Lab de Mexico SE de CV were also found to contain an insufficient amount of ethanol alcohol.

Some additional hand sanitizer products that were added to the FDA’s banned list in July include:

  • Born Basic ANTI-BAC HAND SANITIZER
  • Scent Theory KEEP CLEAN Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer
  • Scent Theory KEEP IT CLEAN Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer
  • Lux Eoi Hand Sanitizing Gel to the consumer level
  • Grupo Insoma’s Hand Sanitizer Gel Unscented, 70% alcohol
  • Transliquid Technologies’ Mystic Shield Protection Hand Sanitizer
  • Soluciones Cosmeticas’ Bersih Hand Sanitizer Gel Fragrance Free
  • Soluciones Cosmeticas’ Antiseptic Alcohol 70% Topical Solution Hand Sanitizer
  • Tropicosmeticos’ Britz Hand Sanitizer Ethyl Alcohol 70%
  • All-Clean Hand Sanitizer
  • Esk Biochem Hand Sanitizer
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol
  • Lavar 70 Gel Hand Sanitizer
  • The Good Gel Antibacterial Gel Hand Sanitizer
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol
  • Saniderm Advanced Hand Sanitizer

The FDA notes that it’s also taking measures to help stop the aforementioned products from even making it into the United States in the first place. A full list of offending hand sanitizer products can be viewed here.

A life long Mac user and Apple enthusiast, Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 6 years. His writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and most recently, TUAW. When not writing about and analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions, the most recent examples being The Walking Dead and Broad City.