FDA publishes list of 55 hand sanitizers that may be toxic, says some users have died

The FDA has published a list of 55 hand sanitizers that may contain methanol, a substance that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin, and said it is aware of people who have died from methanol poisoning after using the hand sanitizers. 

On June 23 the agency said it found nine types of hand sanitizer that may contain methanol and warned people not to use them.

The FDA updated the list July 8 to include 55 hand sanitizers that have been tested by the FDA and shown to contain methanol, are being recalled, or have been made at the same facility as products that contained methanol. 

Methanol is mostly used to make fuel and antifreeze and can be toxic when absorbed through skin or ingested. It can be life threatening if ingested, the FDA said, and just a small amount could be lethal in a young child. 

The FDA said it has seen a sharp increase in the number of hand sanitizer products that are labeled to contain ethanol but are contaminated with methanol. Methanol exposure can cause nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death.

The agency said it's aware of hand sanitizer products contaminated with methanol that have caused blindness, hospitalizations and death in both children and adults.

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