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Make Sure You Know What’s In Your Hand Sanitizer

Hand-sanitizer-225x300Washing your hands with soap and water is always the best option for keeping your hands clean, but we don’t always have access to soap and water. That’s where hand sanitizer comes in. Hand sanitizers have never been as popular or necessary as they are right now. Unfortunately, the increase in demand for hand sanitizers has led to some dangerous products being on the shelves. There has been a dramatic increase in hand sanitizers containing methanol, also referred to as wood alcohol. Methanol has no place in hand sanitizers given that it can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested. To make matters worse, the methanol found in hand sanitizers is not being labeled as an ingredient on the product itself, meaning we have to be extremely careful about what products we are buying and using during this time.

What is Methanol?

 Methanol is a volatile, flammable liquid that is commonly used in antifreeze and fuel production. Exposure to methanol can cause agitation, headaches, dizziness, nausea, amnesia, seizures, and comas. If hand sanitizer containing methanol is ingested, blindness or death can occur. Under no circumstances should methanol be used in hand sanitizers.

 What Hand Sanitizers Should I Avoid?

With the list of hand sanitizers that are contaminated with methanol continually growing, it is currently recommended that consumers avoid all hand sanitizers that are manufactured in Mexico. Not all of the hand sanitizers containing methanol have come out of Mexico, but the majority of them have. Hand sanitizers that are labeled as ‘FDA Approved’ should also be avoided, there are currently no hand sanitizers that are approved by the FDA.

The FDA’s list of hand sanitizers that have been recalled or recommended for a recall due to methanol includes the following companies and products:

  • 4E Global, SAPI de CV
    • Assured Aloe
    • Assured Instant Hand Sanitizer (Aloe and Moisturizers)
    • Assured Instant Hand Sanitizer (Vitamin E and Aloe)
    • Assured Instant Hand Sanitizer Aloe and Moisturizers
    • Assured Instant Hand Sanitizer Vitamin E and Aloe
    • Blumen Advanced Hand Sanitizer
    • Blumen Advanced Hand Sanitizer Aloe
    • Blumen Advanced Hand Sanitizer Aloe, with 70% alcohol
    • Blumen Advanced Hand Sanitizer Clear
    • Blumen Advanced Hand Sanitizer Lavender, with 70% alcohol
    • Blumen Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer Clear
    • Blumen Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer Clear Ethyl Alcohol 70%
    • Blumen Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer Lavender
    • Blumen Aloe Advanced Hand Sanitizer, with 70 Alcohol
    • Blumen Antibacterial Fresh Citrus Hand Sanitizer
    • Blumen Clear Advanced Hand Sanitizer
    • Blumen Clear Advanced Hand Sanitizer with 70% Alcohol
    • Blumen Clear Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer
    • Blumen Clear Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer Aloe
    • Blumen Clear Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer Lavender
    • Blumen Clear LEAR Advanced Hand Sanitizer
    • Blumen Hand Sanitizer Fresh Citrus
    • Blumen Instant Hand Sanitizer Aloe Vera
    • Blumen Instant Hand Sanitizer Fragrance Free
    • Hello Kitty by Sanrio Hand Sanitizer
    • Klar and Danver Instant Hand Sanitizer
    • Klar and Danver Instant Hand Sanitizer (labeled with Greenbrier International Inc.)
    • Modesa Instant Hand Sanitizer Moisturizers and Vitamin E
    • The Honeykeeper Hand Sanitizer
  • Eskbiochem SA de CV
    • All-Clean Hand Sanitizer
    • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol
    • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol
    • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol
    • Esk Biochem Hand Sanitizer
    • Lavar 70 Gel Hand Sanitizer
    • Saniderm Advanced Hand Sanitizer
    • The Good Gel Antibacterial Gel Hand Sanitizer
  • Real Clean Distribuciones SA de CV
    • Anti-Bac Hand Sanitizer
    • Born Basic. Anti-Bac Hand Sanitizer
    • Cavalry
    • Enliven Hand Sanitizing Gel
    • Hand Sanitizer
    • Keep It Clean
    • Lux Eoi Hand Sanitizing Gel
    • Scent Theory – Keep It Clean – Pure Clean Anti-Bacterial Hand Sanitizer
  • Limpo Quimicos SA de CV
    • Andy’s
    • Andy’s Best
    • Gelclor
    • NeoNatural
    • Plus Advanced
  • AAA Cosmetica
    • Bio AAA Advance Hand Sanitizer
    • LumiSkin Advance Hand Sanitizer 16 oz
    • LumiSkin Advance Hand Sanitizer 4 oz
    • QualitaMed Hand Sanitizer
  • DDI Multinacional SA de CV
    • Earths Amenities Instant Unscented Hand Sanitizer with Aloe Vera Advanced
    • Hand Sanitizer Agavespa Skincare
    • Vidanos Easy Cleaning Rentals Hand Sanitizer Agavespa Skincare
  • Soluciones Cosmeticas SA de CV
    • Antiseptic Alcohol 70% Topical Solution Hand Sanitizer
    • Bersih Hand Sanitizer Gel Fragrance Free
    • Hand Sanitizer (Labeled With Wet Look Janitorial And Gardening Corp.)
  • Maquiladora Miniara, SA de CV
    • Selecto Hand Sanitizer
    • Shine and Clean Hand Sanitizer
  • MXL Comercial SA de CV
    • Hand Sanitizer Disinfectant Gel 70% Ethyl Alcohol (labeled with Resource Recovery & Trading LLC)
    • Hand Sanitizer Disinfectant Gel 70% Ethyl Alcohol Rinse Free Hand Rub (labeled with Resource Recovery & Trading LLC)
  • Grupo Insoma, S.A.P.I de CV
    • Hand sanitizer Gel Unscented 70% Alcohol
  • Liqesa Exportacion or Liq-E-S.A. de CV
    • Optimus Lubricants Instant Hand Sanitizer
  • Mystic International SA de CV
    • Mystic Shield Protection Hand Sanitizer
  • Tropicosmeticos SA de CV
    • Britz Hand Sanitizer Ethyl Alcohol 70%
  • Yara Elena De La Garza Perez Nieto
    • DAESI hand sanitizer

The full list on the FDA’s website can be found here.

What Hand Sanitizers Should I Use?

 With so many potentially unsafe hand sanitizers on the market, choosing a hand sanitizer may feel overwhelming. However, there are many safe options out there. The FDA recommends using hand sanitizers that list ethyl alcohol, also known as ethanol, as an active ingredient at a minimum of 60%. Above all else, go with a brand you know and trust and always wash your hands instead of using hand sanitizers when possible.

Author: Cat Collins 

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