WASHINGTON (CBS SF) — The Federal Drug Administration has issued an advisory to consumers against using a number of hand sanitizers manufactured by a Mexican company that could contain toxic wood alcohol.

FDA issued a notice on June 19 advising people not to use any hand sanitizer made by Eskbiochem SA de CV in Mexico due to the potential presence of methanol or wood alcohol. Methanol can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested.

FDA has identified the following products manufactured by Eskbiochem:

  • All-Clean Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-002-01)
  • Esk Biochem Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-007-01)
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-008-04)
  • Lavar 70 Gel Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-006-01)
  • The Good Gel Antibacterial Gel Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-010-10)
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-005-03)
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-009-01)
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-003-01)
  • Saniderm Advanced Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-001-01)

The FDA has tested samples of Lavar Gel and CleanCare No Germ. Lavar Gel contained 81 percent methanol and no ethyl alcohol, while CleanCare No Germ contained 28 percent methanol.

Consumers who have been exposed to hand sanitizer containing methanol should seek immediate treatment, which is critical for potential reversal of toxic effects of methanol poisoning. Methanol exposure can result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death.

On June 17, 2020, FDA contacted Eskbiochem to recommend the company remove its hand sanitizer products from the market due to the risks associated with methanol poisoning, but to date, the company has not taken action. The FDA recommends consumers stop using the above listed hand sanitizers and dispose of them immediately in appropriate hazardous waste containers. Consumers are asked not to flush or pour these products down the drain.

FDA reminds consumers to wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing one’s nose. If soap and water are not readily available, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend consumers use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent ethanol.

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