The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns the public not to use
gel alcohol Products made by a Mexican company because they contain a poisonous substance called methanol, which can be fatal when absorbed through the skin or ingested.
The warning applies to nine hand sanitizer products made by the company, called Eskbiochem, according to a
FDA statement. The agency said it found methanol in samples taken from several of the company’s products.
Exposure to methanol can cause nausea, vomiting,
headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or even death, according to the FDA.
People may be at risk for methanol poisoning if they use the substance on their hands, but the greatest risk of poisoning occurs when people ingest methanol, either accidentally (for example, if the product is ingested by a child) or intentionally ( This may be the case for teens or adults who take the products as alcohol substitutes), the FDA said.
The nine products are known as All-Clean Hand Sanitizer, Esk Biochem Hand Sanitizer, CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer, Lavar 70 Gel Sanitizer, The Good Gel Antibacterial Gel Sanitizer, Saniderm Advanced Hand Sanitizer and three varieties of CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer, said the statement.
Consumers who have these products should stop using and dispose of them immediately. People who have been exposed to these products should seek immediate medical treatment to reverse the toxic effects of methanol poisoning, the agency said.
The agency has asked Eskbiochem to withdraw the products from the market, but the company has not yet taken action, according to the statement.
So far, the FDA has received no reports of illnesses related to these products.
To be marketed as a hand sanitizer, a product must contain ethyl alcohol (also called ethanol), isopropyl alcohol (isopropanol), or benzalkonium chloride as the active ingredient.
Live Science previously reported.
Although methanol is a type of alcohol, it is extremely poisonous and is found in products like antifreeze and racing fuel, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The body metabolizes methanol into a compound called formic acid, which is highly toxic to cells,
Live Science previously reported. Ingesting just 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) of methanol can be fatal to a child, and 2 to 8 ounces (60 to 240 milliliters) can be fatal to an adult, says the NIH.
In the past, some people have been poisoned with methanol after trying to make their own alcohol, or drinking alcoholic beverages that were made illegally.
Originally published in Living science .