More hand sanitisers containing toxic ingredient in circulation, FDA warns

*Incoordination, confusion, dizziness, drowsiness, headache, nausea, weakness, abdominal pain, others listed as related symptoms

*Agency warns consumers, healthcare experts about hand sanitisers manufactured by Harmonic Nature S de RL de MI in Mexico

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

In the agency’s continued efforts at alerting consumers of potential hazards in products, the United States (US) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says it appears that COVID-conscious consumers have yet another substance found in hand sanitisers to worry about ─1-propanol.

The FDA is warning both consumers and healthcare professionals about hand sanitisers manufactured by Harmonic Nature S de RL de MI in Mexico, says agency report.

Sources says those sanitiser products are labelled to contain ethanol and/or isopropyl alcohol, but laboratory tests have also found levels of 1-propanol.

According to the agency, the chemical is not an approved ingredient for hand sanitisers sold in the US, and could be harmful to those who are exposed to it.

The FDA said: “Ingesting 1-propanol can cause central nervous system (CNS) depression, which can result in death.

“Consumers who have been exposed to hand sanitiser containing 1-propanol and are experiencing symptoms should seek immediate care for treatment of toxic effects of 1-propanol poisoning.”

The agency, therefore, urges consumers to avoid using any hand sanitiser containing 1-propanol and has added the ingredient to its list of unsafe hand sanitisers.

It cites studies that have indicated that 1-propanol’s depression effects on the central nervous system are 2 to 4 times more potent than alcohol (ethanol), report said.

Besides the negative impact on the nervous system, skin exposure to 1-propanol has shown to result in irritation and, in rare situations, allergic skin reactions have been reported.

In ConsumerAffairs’ research on the subject, data prepared for the World Health Organisation (WHO) listed incoordination, confusion, dizziness, drowsiness, headache, nausea, weakness, abdominal pain, sore throat, and vomiting as related symptoms.

It also notes that adolescents who may drink the liquid accidentally, as well as adults who drink the liquid as an alcohol substitute, are particularly at risk.

Meanwhile, consumers who have products on the list of hand sanitisers with potential methanol or 1-propanol contamination are advised to stop using them, and dispose of them promptly, preferably in a hazardous waste container.

The agency urges consumers should not pour these products down the drain or flush them in the toilet.

Instead, it advises contacting local waste management and recycling centres for instructions on how to dispose of the substance properly.

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