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Agency warns consumers to avoid potentially fatal hand sanitisers (See Full List)

*Products made by Eskbiochem with methanol exposure can result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, other ailments ─FDA

*Consumers exposed to hand sanitisers containing methanol should seek immediate treatment

Web Editor | ConsumerConnect

As one of the major Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) used in curbing the spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in several countries of the world, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a strong warning to consumers to avoid using any hand sanitiser manufactured by Eskbiochem SA de CV, based in Mexico, in North America.

The FDA, in a statement, says the products can be toxic because they contain methanol, which it says is not an acceptable ingredient for hand sanitisers, reports ConsumerAffairs.

Consumers who use products with that chemical could absorb the chemical through their skin or ingest it accidentally.

It was learnt that typically, most over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are not reviewed and/or approved by the FDA.

But with the massive amount of hand sanitisers consumers are buying, the agency felt compelled to put the buying public on alert, report says.

According to the FDA, the following products manufactured by Eskbiochem are potentially toxic.

Please note that the “NDC” code-listed in parentheses is the universal product identifier for human drugs in the United States.

  1. All-Clean Hand Sanitiser (NDC: 74589-002-01)
  2. Esk Biochem Hand Sanitiser (NDC: 74589-007-01)
  3. CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitiser 75% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-008-04)
  4. Lavar 70 Gel Hand Sanitiser (NDC: 74589-006-01)
  5. The Good Gel Antibacterial Gel Hand Sanitiser (NDC: 74589-010-10)
  6. CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitiser 80% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-005-03)
  7. CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitiser 75% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-009-01)
  8. CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitiser 80% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-003-01)
  9. Saniderm Advanced Hand Sanitiser (NDC: 74589-001-01)

Two of Eskbiochem’s sanitisers contain large amounts of methanol. When the FDA tested Lavar Gel, it discovered that the product contains 81 percent methanol and no ethyl alcohol; CleanCare No Germ, another product, contains 28 percent methanol.

In terms of the side effects, risks run from nausea to death, according to the report.

Therefore, the FDA advises consumers who have been exposed to hand sanitiser containing methanol to seek immediate treatment.

Treatment is a crucial component because it has the potential to reserve the toxic effects of methanol poisoning.

The agency noted that if not treated early, considerable methanol exposure can result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, and can go as far as permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system, or death.

Ingesting the products can produce an even greater consequence. The FDA has issued a special warning to parents of young children who might ingest these products accidentally, as well as to any adults who drink hand sanitiser as a substitute for alcohol.

However, Eskbiochem has been notified but has not responded, according the US Food and Drug Administration.

On June 17, 2020, the FDA related that it contacted Eskbiochem to recommend that the company removes its hand sanitiser products from the market due to the risks associated with methanol poisoning.

However, the FDA says the company has not taken action to remove these potentially dangerous products from the market as of press time.

Therefore, the agency recommends that consumers stop using these hand sanitisers and dispose of them immediately in appropriate hazardous waste containers. Do not flush or pour these products down the drain.

It stated: “FDA remains vigilant and will continue to take action when quality issues arise with hand sanitisers.”

“Additionally, the agency is concerned with false and misleading claims for hand sanitisers, for example that they can provide prolonged protection such as 24-hours against viruses including COVID-19, since there is no evidence to support these claims.”

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