Consuming hand sanitizer—whether accidentally or on purpose—has been sending people to emergency rooms for years. And now, with it being everywhere you turn the incidents of poisonings have increased exponentially. As of May 31, 2020, poison control centers have gotten over 9,000 calls about exposure in children 12 years and younger. Teens looking to get drunk by drinking the sanitizer and poisoning themselves was a growing trend. But the demand for sanitizer caused by Covid-19 made it harder to get, and now even more deadly.
In New Mexico in May of this year, one person is now blind, three in critical condition, and three have died from drinking hand sanitizer that contained methanol instead of the usual ethanol. Methanol is a toxic form of alcohol, that can cause headache, dizziness, blurred vision, kidney damage, blindness and death. Methanol poisoning can come from inhaling, skin contact, or eye contact. But methanol is the most dangerous when ingested.
The hand sanitizer was produced in Mexico by Eskbiochem SA de CV, and has prompted a warning from the Food and Drug Administration. Upon testing, some of the sanitizer contained as much as 81% menthol and no ethyl alcohol. They are warning consumers not to use the following products:
- 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)
The FDA has requested that the company remove it’s products from the market, but to date the company has refused to do so.