Agency warns consumers of toxic hand sanitisers, updates list of banned products to 75

*FDA reminds consumers of 3 important things related to hand sanitisers

*Some widely available brands may contain lethal levels of methanol

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released an update about hand sanitisers that may be harmful to consumers who use such toxic and potentially fatal products.

The agency now lists the total number of banned sanitiser products at 75.

ConsumerConnect reports that the rationale behind the FDA action is hinged on the fact that “those products contain dangerous and potentially fatal levels of methanol (a.k.a. wood alcohol) ─ the same ingredient found in windshield wiper cleanser and anti-freeze.”

As regards the fresh additions to the toxicity list, the FDA stated that following up on earlier warnings to consumers, the latest additions include two more hand sanitisers produced in Mexico as Optimus Instant Hand Sanitiser and Hand Sanitiser Disinfectant Gel respectively.

The recalls on those hand sanitisers extend to large-scale retailers like Walmart, as well as other national retailers.

On ‘forewarned is forearmed’, the agency is reminding consumers of three important things related to hand sanitisers, that methanol is particularly problematic as an ingredient because when absorbed through the skin, it can produce toxic effects such as blindness.

Much worse, if ingested, it can prove lethal, as it did recently in New Mexico.

Many of the products that contain methanol are mislabelled, which could mislead consumers into thinking that the products are safe.

The best way people can prevent the spread of infections and decrease the risk of getting sick is by washing their hands with regular soap and water, said the agency.

The FDA advises: “There is currently no evidence that consumer antiseptic wash products (also known as antibacterial soaps) are any more effective at preventing illness than washing with plain soap and water.

“In fact, some data suggests that antibacterial ingredients could do more harm than good in the long-term and more research is needed.”

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