In an effort to protect consumers from potentially harmful hand sanitizers, federal health officials have announced the recall of several products that have been found to contain methanol. This toxic ingredient, which can cause serious harm if ingested or absorbed through the skin, has been a cause for concern since the outbreak of COVID-19.
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Jarman’s Midwest Cleaning Systems Inc. is voluntarily recalling all lots of its Alcohol Antiseptic 80% Topical Solution Hand Sanitizer Non-sterile Solution and Isopropyl Alcohol Antiseptic 75% Topical Solution Hand Sanitizer Non-sterile Solution. The recalled products were packaged in 1-gallon clear or white plastic bottles and were sold as a single bottle or in a case of four.
Consumers who have purchased any of these recalled products should dispose of them immediately or contact the company for further instructions. To date, the company has not received any reports of adverse events related to the recalled products.
The FDA has repeatedly cautioned consumers about the use of hand sanitizers that contain methanol or 1-propanol, as these substances can be toxic if ingested or absorbed through the skin. Methanol, also known as wood alcohol, can cause serious harm if ingested and has been linked to cases of blindness, hospitalization, and death.
During the outbreak of COVID-19, the FDA saw an uptick in hand sanitizers that were made with methanol. The agency also became aware of cases of adults and children who ingested products contaminated with methanol and experienced serious health effects. As a result, the FDA has compiled a list of over 400 potentially dangerous hand sanitizers.
Symptoms of methanol exposure can include nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, coma, seizures, blindness, and permanent damage to the central nervous system. The FDA warns that young children who accidentally ingest these products and adolescents and adults who drink them as a substitute for ethanol are most at risk for methanol poisoning.
Consumers who have been exposed to hand sanitizer containing methanol and are experiencing symptoms should seek immediate medical attention to reverse the toxic effects of methanol poisoning. In the meantime, the FDA recommends checking all hand sanitizers for the presence of methanol and disposing of any products that contain it.