FDA warns about potentially dangerous hand sanitizers

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hand-sanitizers(NaturalHealth365) In mid-March, during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, hand sanitizers were prized as a “hot” commodity.  Panicked consumers pillaged grocery and box store shelves, and reports of black market sanitizers being sold for $100 a bottle hit social media like wild fire.  Crazy, right?!

Six months into the pandemic and a hand sanitizer is still a treasured commodity. As the supply chains dried up, and continued to stay dry, a new black market formed, and it is far more dangerous than being shamelessly overcharged by coronavirus preppers hawking bootleg hand sanitizers on the internet.

Finally doing their job: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently warned consumers about 87 toxic and potentially deadly hand sanitizers.  In the weeks since the first warning, the list has topped 100.

Exposing the underreported dangers of hand sanitizers

FDA test results indicate that potentially lethal hand sanitizers fall into three distinct categories.

First, there’s a consumer warning about hand sanitizers and methanol contamination. Methanol can be toxic when absorbed through the skin and potentially deadly if ingested.

The FDA found a spike in the number of products said to contain ethanol but tested positive for methanol.  Wood alcohol – a substance used to create fuel and antifreeze – has also been uncovered as an active ingredient in some hand sanitizer products.

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Second, the FDA expanded the list to include hand sanitizers that contain insufficient amounts of alcohol, which in turn will be ineffective against the spread of COVID-19.  This is truly tragic, especially when you consider that there are much safer options available.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that consumers use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, and it considers products that don’t meet that standard to be subpotent.

Finally, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers about alcohol-based hand sanitizers that are being packaged in containers that may appear as food and drink, including beer cans, children’s food pouches, water bottles, juice bottles, and vodka bottles. The FDA also found hand sanitizers that contain scents or food flavors (chocolate, raspberry).

Packaging hand sanitizer like a consumable product is especially dangerous to children, who can easily mistake sanitizer for a food product.

The adverse and deadly effects of hand sanitizer ingestion

Hand sanitizer ingestion can cause a number of adverse effects, from cardiac issues and central nervous system depression to hospitalizations, blindness, and premature death.  Symptoms of exposure can include confusion, disorientation, decreased consciousness, and slowed pulse and breathing.

Almost all of the hand sanitizers on the FDA’s do-not-use list are manufactured in Mexico.  And, recommended recalls and import alerts have been put in place.

Still, as companies seek to take advantage of the increased use of hand sanitizer during the coronovirus pandemic, expect dangerous and unacceptable ingredients to show up in a wide range of subpotent and black market products.

Bottom line: washing your hands with soap and water is still one of the best ways to stay clean and safe.  In addition, be sure to avoid the possibility that your hand sanitizer contains toxic ingredients.

And, of course, do all the things possible to keep your immune system healthy and strong.

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