Methanol: Centre warns consumers are dying after ingesting hand sanitisers

*Drinking alcohol-based hand sanitisers can cause methanol poisoning ─US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

Either unintentionally or deliberately, ingesting hand sanitisers containing methanol is reported to have caused several deaths over the past few months.

Just as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States continues to update the list of hand sanitisers that could be fatal to the health of consumers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that people are getting sick, and even dying after ingesting hand sanitisers.

It was gathered that the CDC Wednesday, August 5, 2020, disclosed that four people died and nearly a dozen others became ill after ingesting alcohol-based hand sanitisers. Three of the patients suffered vision impairment.

Report further noted that additional effects that could arise as a result of drinking hand sanitizer made with either methanol or ethanol include headache, blurred vision, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, loss of coordination and decreased level of consciousness.

Health officials in an advisory likewise warned that methanol poisoning can also result in metabolic acidosis, seizures, blindness, and death.

“Swallowing alcohol-based hand sanitizer products containing methanol can cause life-threatening methanol poisoning.

“Young children might unintentionally swallow these products, whereas adolescents or adults with history of alcohol use disorder might intentionally swallow these products as an alcohol (ethanol) substitute.”

As regards the dangers of ingesting hand sanitisers, for instance, report indicated that between May and June this year, 15 adults in Arizona and New Mexico were hospitalised for methanol poisoning after consuming alcohol-based hand sanitisers.

Poison centres in those states said four of the patients who were hospitalised from the poisoning died and three suffered visual impairment, report said.

CDC stated: “Alcohol-based hand sanitiser products should never be ingested,” adding, that consumers should “avoid use of specific imported products found to contain methanol, and continue to monitor FDA guidance.”

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