FDA expands list of potentially deadly hand sanitizers

CNN's John King looks at the coronavirus numbers throughout the country after the US recently topped four million Covid-19 cases.

Posted: Jul 26, 2020 10:25 AM
Updated: Jul 27, 2020 10:30 PM


The US Food and Drug Administration has expanded its list of potentially deadly hand sanitizer products, warning a Mexican-based company about selling products that contain methanol, a dangerous form of alcohol that can poison people through their skin.

Many new companies have been selling hand sanitizer products because of the increased demand fueled by coronavirus fears, and shortages of the usual mainstream products. But the FDA said on Monday that many companies are using unsafe alcohols in their products, and is warning people to not use them.

'Manufacturers' failure to immediately recall all potentially affected products is placing consumers in danger of methanol poisoning,' the FDA said in a statement.

'A warning letter has been issued to Eskbiochem S.A. de C.V. for distributing product with undeclared methanol, unapproved claims --including incorrectly stating FDA approval—and improper manufacturing practices,' the agency added.

'Consumers must also be vigilant about which hand sanitizers they use, and for their health and safety we urge consumers to immediately stop using all hand sanitizers on the FDA's list of dangerous hand sanitizer products,' FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn said in a statement.

'We remain extremely concerned about the potential serious risks of alcohol-based hand sanitizers containing methanol. Producing, importing and distributing toxic hand sanitizers poses a serious threat to the public and will not be tolerated. The FDA will take additional action as necessary and will continue to provide the latest information on this issue for the health and safety of consumers.'

Earlier this month, the FDA said at least four people died in New Mexico after reportedly drinking hand sanitizer products. The isopropyl alcohol usually used in hand sanitizer is not as toxic as methanol but the FDA doesn't recommend eating or drinking hand sanitizer.

'Methanol exposure can result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death,' the FDA says.

'Although people using these products on their hands are at risk for methanol poisoning, young children who accidentally ingest these products and adolescents and adults who drink these products as an alcohol (ethanol) substitute are most at risk. Consumers who have been exposed to hand sanitizer containing methanol and are experiencing symptoms should seek immediate medical treatment for potential reversal of toxic effects of methanol poisoning,' it added.

The FDA has warned against the use of more than 75 different hand sanitizer products because they contain methanol.

'In most cases, methanol does not appear on the product label. However, methanol is not an acceptable ingredient in any drug, including hand sanitizer, even if methanol is listed as an ingredient on the product label,' the FDA said.

'Importantly, the FDA is urging consumers not to use any hand sanitizer products from the particular manufacturers on the list even if the product or particular lot number are not listed since some manufacturers are recalling only certain -- but not all -- of their hand sanitizer products.'

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2514422

Reported Deaths: 56038
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings33302810840
Queens31485510285
Suffolk2388013596
Nassau2139053290
Bronx2073266748
New York1677674635
Westchester1434812338
Erie1057911944
Richmond887311933
Monroe838301183
Orange57344909
Rockland52979779
Onondaga51689758
Dutchess35490497
Albany30633388
Oneida28461585
Broome24233404
Niagara23884397
Saratoga20111198
Ulster17224278
Schenectady16592227
Rensselaer14692167
Putnam1244896
Chautauqua12318174
Oswego11556112
Chemung10798154
St. Lawrence10424126
Steuben10037173
Ontario9296110
Jefferson874874
Cayuga8613107
Sullivan843183
Wayne810384
Cattaraugus7622113
Genesee6945132
Herkimer6741128
Clinton666538
Tompkins647559
Fulton6258102
Madison6138102
Montgomery5890139
Livingston568071
Warren540782
Cortland531379
Tioga503671
Columbia4984111
Chenango465786
Allegany457196
Washington456467
Otsego454154
Greene435386
Wyoming434958
Orleans429487
Franklin423320
Lewis357138
Delaware352947
Seneca272563
Schoharie227721
Essex226831
Yates161028
Schuyler152417
Hamilton4353
Unassigned14826
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