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If you’re using one of these hand sanitizers, get rid of it immediately

Published Jun 23rd, 2020 2:03PM EDT
Hand sanitizer
Image: yurakrasil/Shutterstock

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  • As coronavirus cases continuing to climb around the US, products like hand sanitizer are growing in importance as one of several protective layers to keep Americans safe from the virus — along with other things, like face masks and disinfectant wipes.
  • However, not all hand sanitizer is worth buying or is equal to each other.
  • The FDA has issued a warning encouraging Americans to stay away from 9 sketchy hand sanitizer products that might be toxic.

As the number of coronavirus cases has surged around the US in recent days, particularly in the South, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is stressing that Americans need a full panoply of tools to keep themselves safe from the deadly virus. Those tools include things like face masks, quality hand soap, and disinfectant wipes — as well as hand sanitizer.

Sanitizer is a quick and easy way to clean your hands and give yourself another layer of protection from the coronavirus. And it’s something that most of you seem to be taking seriously and prioritizing, based on the store shelves at retailers near where I live. For most of the coronavirus pandemic, retailers near me have been completely sold out of products like Purell. Meanwhile, though, amid this rush to keep ourselves stocked with hand sanitizer, the Food and Drug Administration has released a warning about nine specific hand sanitizer products — warning, in fact, that they might be toxic.

From the agency: “FDA advises consumers not to use any hand sanitizer manufactured by Eskbiochem SA de CV in Mexico, due to the potential presence of methanol (wood alcohol), a substance that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested.” Along these lines, the FDA has identified the following products manufactured by Eskbiochem:

  • All-Clean Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-002-01)
  • Esk Biochem Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-007-01)
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-008-04)
  • Lavar 70 Gel Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-006-01)
  • The Good Gel Antibacterial Gel Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-010-10)
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-005-03)
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-009-01)
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-003-01)
  • Saniderm Advanced Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-001-01)

Earlier this month, the FDA says it actually contacted Eskbiochem to recommend the company pull its hand sanitizer products off the market “due to the risks associated with methanol poisoning.” However, the company hasn’t seemed to take any steps toward removing these products, which is why the FDA is recommending that consumers “stop using these hand sanitizers and dispose of them immediately in appropriate hazardous waste containers. Do not flush or pour these products down the drain.”

It’s critical that consumers have the best possible hand sanitizer product right now to keep themselves safe, because, as we noted, coronavirus cases are continuing to rise. Some 27.5 million Americans, or more than 8% of the population, have been tested so far for the coronavirus. Meanwhile, the latest numbers out of Johns Hopkins University show that more than 2.3 million coronavirus infections in the US have been identified, with more than 120,000 reported deaths.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.