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FDA Issues Warning Regarding Hand Sanitizer

Photo of Ciro Samperi

The Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") has issued a warning about the use of several hand sanitizer products manufactured by Eskbiochem SA de CV due to the presence of a potentially dangerous chemical.

The demand for hand sanitizing products exponentially increased in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. To keep up with demand, some companies looked to alternative components due to a shortage of ingredients typically used in these products. This week, the FDA warned that the products manufactured in Mexico by Eskbiochem SA de CV could contain methanol. The FDA explained that methanol is not an ingredient that should be used in hand sanitizers as methanol can be toxic if absorbed through the skin or ingested. The side effects of a substantial methanol exposure are: nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death. These products can be especially hazardous to young children or the elderly.

The FDA discovered the methanol ingredient by testing the products. The FDA contacted the manufacturer last week; however, the company has not issued a recall at this time. The manufacturer, Eskbiochem SA de CV, has denied any knowledge of the dangerous chemical in its products. Nine potentially hazardous hand sanitizer products were identified by the FDA.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ("CDC") recommends hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. However, if you do use hand sanitizer products the CDC recommends using an alcohol-based product that contains at least sixty percent ethanol.

If you or someone you know has been injured as the result of a defective product, contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-396-3964 or toll free at 1‑800-594-4884.

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