Toxic hand sanitisers! USFDA warns unauthorised sanitisers can lead to grave health consequences

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Updated: Jul 28, 2020 9:38 AM

The Food and Drug Administration said Monday there have been increasing reports of injury due to people using-- sometimes ingesting the unauthorised sanitisers, which can lead to blindness, heart problems and death.

Toxic hand sanitisers, USFDA,hand sanitisers, imported hand sanitisers, toxic chemical methanol, FDA, covid 19 outbreak,covid 19 pandemic, latest news on hand sanitisersThe FDA has posted a ‘do-not-use’ list of more than 80 sanitisers on its website and blocked their importation. (Representational image: Reuters)

US health officials are warning Americans again to avoid a growing list of imported hand sanitisers that may be contaminated with the toxic chemical methanol. The Food and Drug Administration said Monday there have been increasing reports of injury due to people using– sometimes ingesting the unauthorised sanitisers, which can lead to blindness, heart problems and death.

The active ingredient that kills germs in legitimate sanitisers is ethyl alcohol, which is consumable. But some Mexican companies have been replacing it with poisonous methanol, or wood alcohol, which is used in antifreeze.

The FDA first issued a consumer warning about the products last month. Last week the agency issued a warning letter to Mexican manufacturer Eskbiochem SA de CV for marketing sanitiser containing more than 80% methanol and falsely claiming that it was “FDA approved”.

The FDA has posted a ‘do-not-use’ list of more than 80 sanitisers on its website and blocked their importation. The agency said it is working with retailers to recall products remaining on US store shelves. The illegitimate gels generally don’t list methanol as an ingredient on their packaging.

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