Article

FDA Issues Advisory on Potentially Toxic Hand Sanitizer

The listed products reportedly contain methanol, which the FDA considers an unacceptable ingredient for hand sanitizer.

Due to the current worldwide focus on COVID-19, hand sanitizers have been used with greater frequency than ever before. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) first recommends thoroughly washing with soap and water, hand sanitizers may be used when these are not available.

Recently, however, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), issued a warning regarding some hand sanitizers manufactured by Eskbiochem SA de CV in Mexico, because of the potential presence of methanol in these products. Methanol, more commonly known as wood alcohol, can be toxic when it is absorbed through the skin or ingested.

According to the FDA, substantial methanol exposure can result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death. Anyone who uses these products is at risk. Young children who accidently ingest these products and people that drink these products as an alcohol (ethanol) substitute are at the greatest risk.

If any of the products named on the FDA list are available for employee or customer use at your business, it is recommended that you immediately discontinue use and dispose of them in appropriate hazardous waste containers.

If you or someone you know has been exposed to these toxic brands of hand sanitizer, seek immediate medical attention.

More details on this advisory from the FDA can be found here.

You can find more information about COVID-19 from the following locations:


The information presented here was obtained from sources believed to be reliable to help users address their own risk management and insurance needs. It does not and is not intended to provide legal advice. Nationwide, its affiliates and employees do not guarantee improved results based upon the information contained herein and assume no liability in connection with the information or the provided suggestions. The recommendations provided are general in nature; unique circumstances may not warrant or require implementation of some or all of the suggestions. Nothing here is intended to imply a grant of coverage.  Each claim will be evaluated on its own merits and circumstances.
  Nationwide, Nationwide is on your side, and the Nationwide N and Eagle are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. © 2020 Nationwide

Recommended for you

Details to consider when deciding whether you want to ask your customers to sign a waiver of liability.
The standard, issued by the Virginia Safety and Health Codes Board, includes an action plan that employers can follow to achieve compliance.
Without proper re-orientation practices, employers could see a trend in injuries when employees return to work after an extended time away.
There are several recent industry resources that have been developed to assist you in mitigating this new exposure by protecting your workers, your project and your community.