FDA Warns 9 Brands of Hand Sanitizer May Be Toxic

Person Holding Spray Bottle

The Food and Drug Administration has put out a warning that U.S. consumers should not use any of nine brands of possibly toxic hand sanitizer that may contain methanol, or wood alcohol, a substance that’s potentially dangerous when absorbed through the skin or ingested.

As CNN explained, exposure to significant amounts of methanol can result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death. Anyone exposed to these hand sanitizers should seek immediate treatment, the FDA warns.

Why This Matters: Hand sanitizer is still difficult to buy in many places as consumers have been buying it up throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to help stop the spread of the virus. As a result, knock-off brands and “hand purifiers” have popped up in convenience stores and other retail outlets.

Please check the ingredients of whatever hand sanitizer you purchase to ensure that it meets CDC guidelines for efficacy and look out for harmful ingredients. Additionally, it’s probably not a good idea to make your own hand sanitizer despite the recipes being circulated on the internet.

PSA: Be careful leaving hand sanitizer in a hot car this summer, it could be a fire hazard. Also, make sure you’re using it the right way.

The FDA listed the following products in its product warning: 

  • 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)

Soap vs Sanitizer: The CDC still recommends that soap and water be used frequently to prevent the spread of COVID-19 over the use of hand sanitizer.

Sanitizers can help destroy bacteria and viruses, BUT:

  • Sanitizers do not get rid of all types of germs.
  • Hand sanitizers may not be as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy.

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