Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the FDA banned well over 100 hand sanitizer brands because they contained methanol, also known as wood alcohol. Methanol is especially dangerous because when absorbed through the skin, it can cause a range of serious health issues such as permanent blindness, seizures, and vomiting. Sadly, there were a handful of cases throughout the COVID pandemic that saw some people die from using hand sanitizer brands that had methanol as an ingredient.
In light of that, the FDA this week highlighted a product recall of hand sanitizer products manufactured by Scentsational Soaps & Candles, Inc due to the presence of methanol, benzene, and acetaldehyde. This recall is especially worth drawing attention to because the products in question were available throughout the United States and at large retail stores like Ulta, TJ Maxx, and Marshalls. The primary states where the products were sold include California, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Texas, Massachusetts, Nevada, Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia.
The specific products in question include Scentsational Soaps & Candles scented Hand Sanitizers from the Black and White Collection and Photo Real Collection. Another tainted product is the Ulta Beauty Collection scented Hand Sanitizer Spray which was sold in 3.38 and 3.4 fluid ounce spray containers.
A list of scents involved, which may be easier to identify, include:
- Fresh Lemon Scented Hand Sanitizer
- Coconut Breeze Black and White Hand Sanitizer
- Eucalyptus & Mint Black and White Hand Sanitizer
- Lavender & Herbs Black and White Hand Sanitizer
- Lemon Zest Black and White Hand Sanitizer
- Lemon Zest Photo Real Hand Sanitizer
- SS Tangerine & Guava Black and White Hand Sanitizer
- Coconut Breeze Photo Real Hand Sanitizer
- Eucalyptus & Mint Photo Real Hand Sanitizer
- Lavender & Herbs Photo RealHand Sanitizer
- Tangerine & Guava Photo Real Hand Sanitizer
As to the risks associated with the aforementioned products, the FDA’s warning doesn’t mince words:
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 the products and adolescents and adults who drink the products as an alcohol (ethanol) substitute are most at risk for methanol poisoning.
Exposure to benzene can occur through inhalation, oral, and skin. There is a reasonable probability that benzene present at levels above the maximum daily exposure recommendations can result in cancers including leukemia and blood cancer of the bone marrow and blood disorders which can be life threatening. Additionally, animal studies have shown that acetaldehyde can possibly cause cancer in humans. To date, the company has not received any reports of adverse reactions related to this recall.
Needless to say, stores have been instructed to dispose of the products above. Further, if you already bought any of the above-listed products, you should throw them away immediately.