Hand sanitizer became a hot commodity during the pandemic and, unfortunately, demand for the product has led to manufacturers substituting a toxic chemical for a similar, non-toxic key ingredient.
We're not trying to scare you, mama, but the Food and Drug Administration wants parents to be aware that it is recalling 75 hand sanitizers because they contain methanol, or wood alcohol, instead of ethanol, which they are supposed to be made with.
"Unfortunately, there are some companies taking advantage of the increased usage of hand sanitizer during the coronavirus pandemic and putting lives at risk by selling products with dangerous and unacceptable ingredients," says FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn, who adds, "Consumers and health care providers should not use methanol-containing hand sanitizers."
According to the FDA, methanol "can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested and can be life-threatening when ingested." That's why the agency says it is "not an acceptable active ingredient for hand sanitizers and must not be used due to its toxic effects.
The FDA notes: "Although all persons 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."
Most of the recalled products were made in Mexico, and some have been sold at Walmart and Costco and unnamed grocery stores.
The most common brands impacted are labeled as:
- Good Gel
- Modesa Instant Hand Sanitizer Moisturizers and Vitamin E
- Assured Aloe
- QualitaMed Hand Sanitizer
- Esk Biochem
- Lavar 70 Gel Hand Sanitizer
- Hello Kitty by Sanrio Hand Sanitizer
The FDA wants parents to be aware of the issues with hand sanitizer supply and keep all hand sanitizer products out of reach of kids as "children are particularly at risk with these products since ingesting only a small amount of hand sanitizer may be lethal in a young child."
The full list is available here (thankfully some of the recalled products were detained on import and should not be on store shelves) but be sure to double check before you lather up next time, mama.