FDA Announces Two More Hand Sanitizer Recalls Due To Methanol Contamination

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to worsen and consumers search for ways to protect their health, federal regulators have received a concerning number of reports involving problems with hand sanitizers that contain harmful ingredients, which have resulted in deaths and a number of recalls.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced two more hand sanitizer recalls this week, after the products were found to contain harmful methanol alcohol. This latest action involves products sold by ITECH 361 and Transliquid Technologies LLC, which contain the toxic wood alcohol, which can be lethal when absorbed into the skin or ingested accidentally.

On July 2, a Transliquid Technologies LLC Mystic Shield Protection Topical Solution recall was issued, affecting all lots of its 8.45 ounce bottles and sold at the consumer level. The recall was announced after independent testing by the company found that Mystic Shield hand sanitizer contained methanol.

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Transliquid Technologies LLC, distributed the affected hand sanitizer from May 21, 2020, to June 30, 2020, to wholesale and retail customers in California, Louisiana, Massachusetts and Texas.

The FDA also announced an ITECH 361All Clean Hand Sanitizer, Moisturizer and Disinfectant recall on July 6,  affecting nearly 19,000 one-liter bottles. Those products also had undeclared methanol found in them.

The national recall involved nearly 19,000 bottles of All Clean sold in one-liter bottles to the consumer level. Affected All Clean products include UPC code 628055370130 and were distributed nationwide. ITECH 361 is notifying its distributors of the voluntary recall and arranging for the return/replacement or refund of the hand sanitizers.

Methanol is a wood alcohol often used to make fuel and antifreeze. Methanol exposure can also lead to side effects like headache, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, seizures, blindness, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system and death.

The FDA warns methanol is not an acceptable active ingredient for hand sanitizer and can lead to blindness, hospitalizations and even death.

Last month, the FDA issued the first methanol alcohol warnings about hand sanitizers, resulting in a recall for Saniderm hand sanitizer manufactured by Eskbiochem. The products contained methanol and lead to the deaths of three consumers after they ingested it. Other reports have linked the products to permanent blindness.

A number of other hand sanitizer products labeled as containing ethanol, also known as ethyl alcohol, have since tested positive for methanol contamination. The FDA issued another health warning to consumers on July 2, warning that methanol can cause problems when absorbed through the skin. Previous concerns had been focused on injuries caused by consuming it intentionally. Concerns over the hand sanitizers is heightened due to the high-demand resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Despite the ongoing efforts by the FDA and the continued warnings, some of the hand sanitizer products containing methanol may still be available at retail stores and online.

Neither ITECH 361 nor Transliquid Technologies have received reports of adverse events related to the hand sanitizer recalls. However, the recalls indicate consumers should stop using the affected products immediately and return them to the place of purchase.

Consumers who have experienced any side effects after using hand sanitizer should stop using it immediately, seek medical care if necessary, and contact the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program.

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