WAYNE, NJ — The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published an advisory to the public not to use any hand sanitizer manufactured by Eskbiochem SA deCV in Mexico due to the potential presence of methanol.

The advisory specifically states that “methanol is not an acceptable ingredient for hand sanitizers and should not be used due to its toxic effects."

An increased awareness for hand hygiene during the COVID-19 pandemic is pushing the global market for hand sanitizer to double this year, according to a report by Fior Markets. This has caused many new companies to enter the market and not all of their products are safe to use, the FDA says.

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The FDA provided the following list of products manufactured by Eskbiochem that potentially contain Methanol:

  • 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)

During its testing of the products, the FDA found that Lavar Gel contains 81 percent (v/v) methanol and no ethyl alcohol, and CleanCare No Germ contains 28 percent (v/v) methanol.

“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 states. 

Although exposure to substantial levels of methanol can result in issues from nausea to permanent blindness and headaches to nerve damage, the FDA reported that the agency is "not aware of any reports of adverse events associated with these hand sanitizer products.”

When choosing a hand sanitizer product, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent ethanol. However, individuals are still advised to wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, which is considered the best method to maintain hand hygiene.

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