Toxic hand sanitizers flood market: Mounting poisonings, blindness, deaths (DIY safe)

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INTRO: The Food and Drug Administration is renewing warnings this week of dangerous hand sanitizers as it continues to find products that contain toxic methanol -- a poisonous alcohol that can cause systemic effects, blindness, and death. The agency’s growing “do-not-use list” of dangerous sanitizers now includes 87 products. And with the mounting tally, the FDA also says there are rising reports from state health departments and poison control centers of injuries and deaths. “We remain extremely concerned about the potential serious risks of alcohol-based hand sanitizers containing methanol,” said FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn in a statement.

Good hand hygiene, which includes using hand sanitizers when hand-washing isn’t possible, is an important public health practice, especially amid the pandemic. But, Dr. Hahn said, “consumers must also be vigilant about which hand sanitizers they use, and for their health and safety we urge consumers to immediately stop using all hand sanitizers on the FDA’s list of dangerous hand sanitizer products.”

The agency reported that its ongoing testing has found sanitizers containing methanol at levels ranging from 1 percent to 80 percent. No amount of methanol is acceptable, the agency notes... (MORE)

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