The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is advising 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. 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)
The FDA tested samples of Lavar Gel and CleanCare No Germ. Lavar Gel contains 81 percent methanol and no ethyl alcohol, and CleanCare No Germ contains 28 percent methanol. Methanol isn't an acceptable ingredient for hand sanitizers and shouldn't be used due to its toxic effects.
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, the FDA said in a statement. 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.
On June 17, the FDA contacted Eskbiochem to recommend the company remove its hand sanitizer products from the market due to the risks associated with methanol poisoning. As of June 19, the company hadnt taken action yet to remove these dangerous products from the market. So, the FDA recommends consumers stop using these hand sanitizers and dispose of them immediately in appropriate hazardous waste containers. Don’t flush or pour these products down the drain.
The FDA reminds consumers to wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing the nose. If soap and water aren’t available, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend consumers use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent ethanol.
The FDA will continue to take action when quality issues arise with hand sanitizers. In addition, the agency is concerned with false and misleading claims for hand sanitizers, for example, that they can provide prolonged protection such as 24-hours against viruses including COVID-19, since there is no evidence to support these claims.
The FDA isn’t aware of any reports of adverse events associated with these hand sanitizer products, the agency said. It encourages health care professionals, consumers and patients to report adverse events or quality problems experienced with the use of hand sanitizers to FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program: