Hand sanitizer manufactured by Mexico-based Eskbiochem SA de CV contains toxic chemicals. A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigation found methanol used in their formula. Also known as wood alcohol, methanol is poisonous. Tested samples of Lavar Gel contain 81% methanol and no ethyl alcohol. CleanCare No Germ contains 28% methanol. Methanol is not an appropriate substitute for ethyl alcohol due to its toxicity. If absorbed through the skin or ingested, methanol can cause nausea, vomiting, headache, or blurred vision. Long-term effects of methanol poisoning include blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system, and death.In light of these dangers, the FDA warns against the following products:
- 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)
If exposed to these products, seek immediate medical attention. Children are highest at risk. “Although all persons using these products on their hands are at risk, young children who accidentally ingest these products and adolescents who drink these products as an alcohol (ethanol) substitute, are most at risk for methanol poisoning,” according to the FDA.
FDA asked Eskbiochem to recall their hand sanitizer products on June 17, 2020. To date, the company has not taken action.
Consumers should dispose of these products in a safe manner. As hazardous waste, they should not get flushed or poured down the drain.
People need to remain vigilant with hand washing following CDC standards. Using soap and water for at least 20 seconds is best. Alcohol-based sanitizer containing at least 60% ethanol is an acceptable substitute when necessary. Sanitizer does not provide prolonged protection against viruses, contrary to some false claims.