Recalls & Warnings
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Posted March 9, 2021
FDA Warns Sellers of Three More Hand Sanitizers, One with Toxic Ingredient
On March 1, 2021, the FDA issued warning letters to three sellers of hand sanitizers because laboratory tests showed that their products do not contain the amount of ethanol as stated on their labels. The products are MEDICALLY MINDED Hand Sanitizer Gel from Plasticos Las Palmas, S.A. de C.V; Pristine Hand Sanitizer Gel from Gaza Proveedora De Servicios De Hospedaje Y Alimentacion; and NATURAL GOLD GEL ALCOHOL ANTISEPTIC 75% Topical Solution from Marco Antonio Rodriguez Fierro. MEDICALLY MINDED Hand Sanitizer Gel was also found to contain methanol, which is toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested.
The FDA first warned consumers about adulterated hand sanitizers in June of 2020 and has continued to update consumers about potentially-affected products and recalls.
More details about each recently-warned company can be found below (use the link to read the full warning letter).
- Plasticos Las Palmas, S.A. de C.V: While the product labels state that MEDICALLY MINDED Hand Sanitizer Gel contains 70% ethanol, the tests found that the product actually contained an average of 0.84% ethanol and 54% methanol.
- Gaza Proveedora De Servicios De Hospedaje Y Alimentacion: While the product labels state that Pristine Hand Sanitizer Gel contains 68% ethanol, the tests found that the product actually contained an average of 42% ethanol.
- Marco Antonio Rodriguez Fierro: While the product labels state that NATURAL GOLD GEL ALCOHOL ANTISEPTIC 75% Topical Solution contains 75% ethanol, the tests found that the product actually contained 31% ethanol.
These products are adulterated because the labels incorrectly state the ingredients, and they are also misbranded because they are "dangerous to health when used according to [their] labeling as a hand sanitizer."
Methanol, sometimes called wood alcohol, is poisonous. Methanol exposure through the skin or by ingestion can result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death. The agency warned that consumers who have been exposed to hand sanitizer containing methanol to "seek immediate treatment, which is critical for potential reversal of toxic effects of methanol poisoning."
The FDA warned that while all individuals are at risk of harmful events if they use this product, those most in danger of methanol poisoning are children who accidentally ingest the hand sanitizer and adults who drink it as a substitute for ethanol.
Methanol is a different form of alcohol than ethyl alcohol. Hand sanitizer containing at least 60% ethyl alcohol is recommended by the CDC for disinfecting hands when soap and water are not available, and is generally considered safe when used as directed. See the CDC's website for more information about using hand sanitizer.
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