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Dangerous Hand Sanitizers Recalled Due to Methanol Poisoning

July 29, 2020

MARIETTA, GA- Americans are buying hand-sanitizer in far larger amounts than normal due to concerns over the coronavirus, according to PATCH.COM. The high demand has led to shortages, and some companies that sell hand sanitizer have been using methanol, or wood alcohol, as an ingredient in their products. Methanol is dangerous for use on skin and can cause poisoning. The Food and Drug Administration, the FDA, is advising anyone who used such products to seek medical care if necessary for methanol poisoning.

The FDA identified and issued recalls for 75 hand sanitizer brands that used methanol. Such products were advertised for their bacteria-killing qualities, but the use of certain sanitizers can lead to severe symptoms. The FDA's website lists vomiting, nausea, blurred vision, headaches, seizures, blindness, and damage to the nervous system as possible results of using methanol-based products. 

The products also create risks if ingested by children or individuals attempting to substitute methanol as a substitute for ethanol. Those who ingest these products are at the greatest risk of poisoning. 

Hand sanitizer sales spiked due to the pandemic. The first month of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States was March, and during that month's sales, hand sanitizer sales rose 73 percent. The market was already growing annually, and in 2019 sales reached a total of $2.7 billion. Estimates indicate that the national market will continue to grow at 22.6 percent each year. According to survey results, 77 percent of people in America use hand sanitizers on a regular basis. 

The FDA is continuing to update its list of products that are subject to the methanol recall on its website for additional information.

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Category: Product Liability

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