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The FDA has now banned more than 130 hand sanitizers that are potentially deadly

Published Aug 11th, 2020 4:18PM EDT
Hand Sanitizer FDA Recall
Image: Goffkein/Adobe

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  • The FDA’s list of hand sanitizers that contain methanol, also known as wood alcohol, now includes more than 130 brands.
  • Methanol, when absorbed through the skin, can cause a variety of serious health issues, including permanent blindness and vomiting. When ingested, it can sometimes result in death.
  • The FDA cautions that consumers should only purchase a bottle of hand sanitizer if it’s comprised of 60% ethyl alcohol at a minimum.

A few days ago, Dr. Anthony Fauci outlined six things people can do to help prevent the coronavirus from spreading, a list that includes mask-wearing, avoiding crowds, and, of course, practicing good hand hygiene.

And while you might ordinarily assume that practicing good hand hygiene is straight forward enough, the unfortunate reality is that shoppers in some states need to be on the lookout for hand sanitizer brands that, put simply, can cause a myriad of health issues. As we’ve highlighted previously, some hand sanitizer brands contain methanol — also known as wood alcohol — which can be incredibly toxic when absorbed through the skin. Some of the health issues associated with methanol include seizures, permanent blindness, and vomiting. Tragically, there have even been a handful of reports involving children who have died after ingesting methanol-based hand sanitizers.

“All Americans should practice good hand hygiene, which includes using alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not readily available,” FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn said a few weeks ago. “Unfortunately, there are some companies taking advantage of the increased usage of hand sanitizer during the coronavirus pandemic and putting lives at risk by selling products with dangerous and unacceptable ingredients.”

Back in July, the FDA identified 55 hand sanitizer brands that contain methanol. Since then, the list has grown to include over 135 brands. Most, if not all, of the offending brands are manufactured in Mexico. This should make it relatively easy for consumers to spot offending brands on the shelves. Further, the FDA cautions that shoppers should only purchase a bottle of hand sanitizer if it contains at least 60% ethyl alcohol.

A full list of hand sanitizer brands to avoid can be viewed at the FDA website. Some of the more recent entries to the list can be viewed below:

  • Derma70 Hand Sanitizer
  • ResQue 1st Instant Hand Sanitizer
  • Total Pure Alcohol Based Hand Sanitizer Gel
  • Inatek Hand Sanitizer Non-Sterile Solution
  • OZO Hand Sanitizer, Luxury Formula
  • Grupo Insoma S.A.P.I de CV (Mexico)
  • Ismar Soluciones Dinámicas S de RL de CV (Mexico)
  • Noticias Mexico Hoy Grupo Multimedia (Mexico)
  • DEPQ Internacional S de RL de CV
  • OZO Hand Sanitizer
  • Medical Mary Clean Hand Sanitizer
  • AMX Instant Hand Sanitizer
  • Clean Humans Hand Sanitizer
  • NEXT Hand Sanitizer 
  • TriCleanz Tritanium Labs Hand Sanitizer
  • Sayab Antisepctic Hand Sanitizer 
  • GelBact Hand Sanitizer 
  • All-Clean Hand Sanitizer
  • Esk Biochem Hand Sanitizer
  • Lavar 70 Gel Hand Sanitizer
  • The Good Gel Antibacterial Gel Hand Sanitizer
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol
  • Saniderm Advanced Hand Sanitizer
Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.