According to a report by Fox Business, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s recall of hand sanitizers has greatly expanded since we first discussed it in late June. As of Aug. 4, 2020, more than 100 hand sanitizer products have been recalled because they contain methanol, an extremely dangerous chemical that can cause severe health problems and death in people who come into contact with or ingest it.
What makes these hand sanitizer products so dangerous isn’t just the methanol, but also the fact that the methanol isn’t listed on their list of ingredients. That makes it difficult for consumers to know if the product they’re purchasing is safe to use.
In addition, the FDA’s list of recalled products, which is overwhelmingly methanol-containing hand sanitizers in recent weeks, is updated frequently, so consumers may not know if a sanitizer they purchased or are considering purchasing will be recalled.
Methanol poisoning can occur in two ways—it can be absorbed through the skin and cause poisoning and a host of side effects and complications, and it can even be fatal if swallowed. People at high risk of death due to methanol poisoning include small children and people who use hand sanitizer, which normally contains ethanol, as a substitute for alcohol.
To reduce their risks, the FDA urges all consumers to avoid buying any hand sanitizer from companies that distribute hand sanitizers containing methanol. Not all hand sanitizers have been tested for the presence of methanol, but avoiding those from manufacturers already associated with those dangerous products can make your family safer.