Be careful with hand sanitizers that contain methanol

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned people to be careful with hand sanitizers because the agency has found more than 87 products containing methanol, which is dangerous to health, can be dangerous to health. cause bodily harm, blindness, and even death.

Frequent hand washing with soap, water and hand sanitizer is an important measure to protect yourself during the current COVID-19 outbreak. However, consumers need to be very careful in choosing hand sanitizer because there are many products on the market that contain dangerous chemicals that are harmful to health.

FDA warns of 87 hand sanitizers containing methanol

The FDA-approved dry hand sanitizer products are all sourced from Mexico. “We are very concerned about the potentially serious risks posed by methanol-based hand sanitizers,” said FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn. The manufacture, import and distribution of hazardous products pose a serious threat to the public.”

The FDA has repeatedly tested the recalled hand sanitizer products, and the results showed that the hand sanitizers contained methanol in levels between 1 and 80%. According to the FDA, methanol is a dangerous substance, even 1% is not approved. Methanol is converted into formaldehyde, then formic acid, which can cause systemic damage if ingested, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin. Small children need only 2 spoonfuls can be fatal. Some people even go blind permanently when using it.

FDA recommends that when buying hand sanitizer products, you should carefully read the ingredients

Currently, many parts of the world are continuing to report the increasing harms of these hand sanitizer products. Specifically, users can experience nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, convulsions, coma, permanent nervous system damage, cardiovascular effects, and death.

The warning about methanol in hand sanitizer first appeared in late June 2020, when the FDA identified nine infringing products from a manufacturer in Mexico. In a news release in early July 2002, the FDA said it had identified five brands of hand sanitizer that contained methanol.

The FDA has sent warning letters to companies asking to speed up the recall of the products. For consumers, the agency recommends that when buying hand sanitizer products, you should read the ingredients carefully. If you find that it contains methanol or other harmful chemicals, stop using it immediately and consult a doctor if you have symptoms of an allergic reaction.

How to choose and use hand sanitizer to ensure the best prevention?

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends washing your hands with soap and water whenever possible because this practice can reduce the amount of germs and chemicals on your hands. In the absence of soap and water, you can use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol to prevent illness and prevent the spread of bacteria to others.

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Many studies have found that hand sanitizers with alcohol concentrations between 60-85% are more effective at killing pathogens than others. Hand sanitizers with lower alcohol content only reduce the growth of bacteria, but cannot completely kill them.

Hand washing

Wash your hands with soap and water whenever possible as this practice can reduce bacteria and chemicals on hands

When choosing dry hand sanitizer products, you need to keep a few things in mind:

  • Natural ingredients like thyme and lavender are known to have antibacterial effects, but there are no studies to prove this.
  • Do not choose products with ingredients that are 100% alcohol (alcohol) because these products really do not have a bactericidal effect. Instead, you should choose a product with a concentration of 60 – 85%.
  • Most hand sanitizer products are made primarily from ethyl alcohol (ethanol) or isopropyl alcohol. Usually, however, isopropyl alcohol will have a more pungent odor. Therefore, ethanol will be chosen more because of its high efficiency and low toxicity.
  • You can choose products with added vitamin E and aloe to limit the dryness caused by alcohol.
  • Read the ingredients carefully before buying. In addition to methanol, you should avoid certain substances such as phthalates (which can cause endocrine disorders and reduce sperm count with long-term use), triclosan (which disrupts hormones and has been linked to antibiotic resistance). born).

However, it should be noted that dry hand sanitizers only reduce the number of bacteria on hands, but do not eliminate all disease-causing factors. Soap and water will remove some bacteria and viruses like Cryptosporidium, norovirus and Clostridium difficile more effectively than hand sanitizers. In addition, some studies also show that hand sanitizer cannot remove pesticides or heavy metals. If your hands touch hazardous chemicals, you need to wash them with soap and water.

When using hand sanitizer, apply the product to the palm of your hand (read the instructions on the package carefully to determine exactly how much to use each time) and rub the product all over the surface of the hand for until your hands are dry.

Swallowing hand sanitizer can cause alcohol poisoning. Children are very susceptible to this situation because hand sanitizer often has a fragrance, light color and eye-catching packaging. Therefore, to be safe, you need to keep hand sanitizer out of the reach of small children and should be used under adult supervision.

Reference source

Mounting poisonings, blindness, deaths as toxic hand sanitizers flood market Accessed: 30/7/2020

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How To Choose The Best Hand Sanitizer For You Accessed date: 30/7/2020

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