November 25, 2020

FDA Puts Some Hand Sanitizer Manufacturers on Import Alert

The FDA is reiterating its warning about dangerous alcohol-based hand sanitizers that contain undeclared methanol, and is also putting some hand sanitizer manufacturers on import alert. That means that any product those companies try to import into the United States will be stopped and held at the border.

FDA Puts Some Hand Sanitizer Manufacturers on Import Alert

The government is also working with these hand sanitizer manufacturers to recall products and is encouraging retailers to remove recalled products from store shelves. The FDA first became aware of this problem in June 2020 and issued warnings to consumers at that time.

Another warning was issued earlier this month about “an increasing number of adverse events, including blindness, cardiac effects, effects on the central nervous system, and hospitalizations and death, primarily reported to poison control centers and state departments of health. The agency continues to see these figures rise.”

FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen M. Hahn said in a statement, “Practicing good hand hygiene, which includes using alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not readily available, is an important public health tool for all Americans to employ. Consumers must also be vigilant about which hand sanitizers they use, and for their health and safety we urge consumers to immediately stop using all hand sanitizers on the FDA’s list of dangerous hand sanitizer products.

“We remain extremely concerned about the potential serious risks of alcohol-based hand sanitizers containing methanol. Producing, importing and distributing toxic hand sanitizers poses a serious threat to the public and will not be tolerated. The FDA will take additional action as necessary and will continue to provide the latest information on this issue for the health and safety of consumers.”

A do-not-use list of hand sanitizers made with methanol has been posted on the FDA web site. Please look at this list carefully to see if you have purchased any of these hand sanitizers. These products have either been tested by the FDA and contain methanol, are being recalled by the manufacturer or distributor, or are purportedly made at the same facility as products that have tested positive for methanol. There are 87 pages of recalled products.

If you did buy any of these products, stop using them immediately. Discard them according to hazardous waste disposal in your area, or return them to the place of purchase for a refund.

If you have experienced any adverse reactions after using these products, including headache, nausea, vomiting, or blurred vision, see your doctor. Then report it to the FDA using their MedWatch Adverse Effects Reporting System.

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