The list of dangerous hand sanitizers gets longer



FDA updates its findings

soap and water, handwashing, COVID-19, protection

Before the pandemic’s arrival, there was back-and-forth in some circles regarding the use of hand sanitizers. Then came quarantines and the stuff flew off stores’ shelves. Now, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns us that what had been seen as our saving grace may have inherent dangers.

The FDA released a warning based on a sharp increase in hand sanitizer products that are labeled to contain ethanol (also known as ethyl alcohol), but that have tested positive for contamination from methanol, or wood alcohol, a substance that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin and can be life-threatening when ingested.

“Methanol is not an acceptable active ingredient for hand sanitizers and must not be used due to its toxic effects,” the announcement notes, adding that investigation into hand sanitizer products is continuing.

“Consumers who have been exposed to hand sanitizer containing methanol and are experiencing symptoms should seek immediate treatment for potential reversal of toxic effects of methanol poisoning.

Substantial methanol exposure can result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death. Although all 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.”

Yikes! FDA is reminding everyone that washing one’s hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is best, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing one’s nose. Only use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent ethanol (also referred to as ethyl alcohol) if soap and water are not readily available.

In addition, the FDA warns against any hand sanitizers that say they are FDA-approved, since the agency doesn’t approve any of these products, or hand sanitizers that claim to stop the spread of any disease, or prolonged protections.

And again, NEVER drink the stuff.  




Other articles by HVP News Reporters


  • Residential refresh

    Personalized touches for your home

    Your home is an expression of you, your personality, and your lifestyle. When it comes to personalizing your home’s aesthetic, try leaning into your senses to inspire change within your space. read more »
  • An elevated sandwich for any occasion

    Your family is going to love this

    They might not be the fanciest of foods, but when you eat a filling, protein-packed sandwich, you are usually left satisfied and full of energy. From ham and turkey to mayo and mustard, the possibilities are nearly endless when sandwiches are on the menu. read more »
  • Graduation party planning

    5 tips to make yours awesome

    Graduation marks the end of one chapter and the beginning of another, a significant milestone worth celebrating. However, planning a graduation party can be overwhelming. read more »
  • Know as they grow

    How birth defects affect each stage of life

    Birth defects, structural changes that affect one or more parts of the body, are the leading cause of infant mortality. A baby is born with a birth defect every 4.5 minutes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). read more »
  • Almost two-thirds of home fires are due to human error

    Here's how to prepare

    The threat of a home fire is greater than most people think. 40% of people believe they are more likely to win the lottery or get struck by lightning than experience a home fire, yet residential fires are the most common disaster people face in the United States, according to the American Red Cross. read more »
  • How to erase negative self-talk and feel better

    Writing can help

    It’s been four years since the collective trauma of the pandemic created widespread grief, anxiety, and isolation, but the psychological wounds of this period have not fully healed. read more »
  • 7 ways to reduce energy bills during summer heat

    Don't let your budget get smoked during a heat wave

    With temperatures forecasted to run at least 2 degrees higher than historical averages across more than half the country, according to projections from AccuWeather, heat waves may lead to soaring air-conditioning bills this summer. read more »
  • Celebrate Father's Day with exciting outdoor activities

    5 ideas for a day of fun for the special guy in your life

    A thoughtful card or personalized gift can go a long way on Father’s Day, but what many dads (and grandpas) want on their special day is time spent with loved ones. read more »
  • Preparing for your first pet

    5 tips for new pet owners

    Welcoming a new pet into your family can be an exciting addition, but preparation is required to provide a loving home and enjoy the unconditional love of a four-legged family member. read more »
  • Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy 101

    What every student-athlete should know

    Heart conditions may be more often associated with older individuals, but you might be surprised to learn hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is the most common condition responsible for sudden cardiac death in young athletes. In fact, it’s the cause of 40% of sudden cardiac death cases. read more »