FDA’s Hand Sanitizer Brand Avoidance List Grows

The list of hand sanitizer brands the FDA considers a health risk is growing. The agency’s list now tops 100 brands of sanitizer that may contain methanol which can be absorbed through the skin and cause harm, even death. The FDA reported Friday there are 101 brands that should be avoided. The new report also clarifies, “certain hand sanitizers have concerningly low levels of ethyl alcohol or isopropyl alcohol” both of which are safe and effective ingredients regularly used in approved hand sanitizers. The FDA says this last group of products is considered sub-potent and has been added to the non-recommended list that also includes methanol.

From the FDA Website:

[7/31/2020] FDA continues to find issues with certain hand sanitizer products. FDA test results show certain hand sanitizers have concerningly low levels of ethyl alcohol or isopropyl alcohol, which are active ingredients in hand sanitizer products. The agency urges consumers not to use these subpotent products and has expanded its list to include subpotent hand sanitizers, in addition to hand sanitizers that are or may be contaminated with methanol

The agency continues to add certain hand sanitizers to import alert to stop these products from legally entering the U.S. market.

FDA reminds consumers to wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing one’s nose. If soap and water are not readily available, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend consumers use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent ethanol (also referred to as ethyl alcohol).

Additionally, FDA reminds consumers that no drugs, including hand sanitizers, are approved to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

FDA encourages health care professionals, consumers and patients to report adverse events or quality problems experienced with the use of hand sanitizers to FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program (please provide the agency with as much information as possible to identify the product):

  • Complete and submit the report online; or
  • Download and complete the form, then submit it via fax at 1-800-FDA-0178

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