It’s called Methanol and the FDA says do not use it on your skin, it can be deadly, and there are many brands that are using Methanol in their hand sanitizers. Methanol is a wood alcohol that is potentially dangerous to when applied and absorbed through the skin or even if accidentally ingested.

This warning from the FDA comes at a time that hand sanitizer has reached record sales levels ever due to the coronavirus pandemic. Stores throughout Amarillo were out of stock which left local brewers to concoct their own hand sanitizers instead of vodka and beer.

In issuing its warning Friday, the FDA said the Mexico-based manufacturer Eskbiochem SA de CV had refused its request that it remove the potentially dangerous products from the U.S. market. FDA tests found samples of one product; Lavar Gel, contained 81% methanol and those of CleanCare No Germ contained 28%.

Food And Drug Administration

Methanol is not an acceptable ingredient for hand sanitizers and should not be used due to its toxic effects, the FDA stated. The agency urged consumers to stop using the products, which should be immediately discarded in hazardous waste containers.  Should methanol come into direct contact with the skin, remove any contaminated clothing and wash the affected area with soap and water for 15 minutes. If methanol comes into contact with the eyes, flush immediately with tepid water for 15 minutes and then seek qualified medical help. Lastly, if ingested, seek immediate medical attention and do not induce vomiting.

This chemical is so hazardous the FDA even says not to dispose of down the sink drain. In fact Methanol is highly flammable and toxic. Direct ingestion of more than 10mL can cause permanent blindness by destruction of the optic nerve, poisoning of the central nervous system, coma and possibly death. These hazards are also true if methanol vapors are inhaled.

The FDA listed the following products in its warning: 

All-Clean Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-002-01)

Esk Biochem Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-007-01)

CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-008-04)

Lavar 70 Gel Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-006-01)

The Good Gel Antibacterial Gel Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-010-10)

CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-005-03)

CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-009-01)

CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-003-01)

Saniderm Advanced Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-001-01)