The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an advisory for consumers not to use any hand sanitizer manufactured by Eskbiochem SA de CV in Mexico, due to the potential presence of methanol (wood alcohol), a substance that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested.
The FDA tested samples of these products and found significant levels of methanol, including Lavar Gel and CleanCare No Germ which contains 81 percent (v/v) methanol, while containing no ethyl alcohol which is acceptable for hand sanitizers.
Consumers who have been exposed to hand sanitizer containing methanol should seek immediate treatment, recommended the FDA, which is critical for potential reversal of toxic effects of methanol poisoning. Substantial methanol exposure can result in serious health conditions, including nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death. In addition, people who ingest these products are at risk for methanol poisoning.
The FDA contacted Eskbiochem on June 17, 2020, to recommend the company remove its hand sanitizer products from the market, but to date the company has not taken action to remove them from the market.
To date, FDA is unaware of any reports of adverse events associated with these hand sanitizer products, but encourages health care professionals, consumers and patients to report adverse events or quality problems experienced with the use of hand sanitizers.