FDA Warns of Methanol Found in Hand Sanitizer

On July 2, 2020, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a public warning regarding an increase in hand sanitizer products found to contain methanol but labeled as containing ethanol or isopropanol. Read more to learn about safety and efficacy issues with hand sanitizers currently on the market.
Hand Sanitizer

On July 2, 2020, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a public warning regarding an increase in hand sanitizer products found to contain methanol but labeled as containing ethanol or isopropanol. Unlike ethanol and isopropanol, methanol is prohibited as an active ingredient in hand sanitizers due to its highly toxic nature.

When used externally, methanol degreases the skin and can cause irritation, dermatitis, and other skin conditions. When taken orally, methanol can cause acute poisoning, blindness, and death. Those most at risk are young children who may accidentally ingest hand sanitizer and adults who deliberately ingest hand sanitizer as a substitute for alcohol.

The FDA has thus far listed 59 hand sanitizer products found to contain methanol, all of which originate from Mexico. Many of the products listed are under the brand name “Blumen” and “Assured.”

It is important to note that an effective hand sanitizer should contain at least 60% ethanol or isopropanol as its active ingredient. The non-alcohol active ingredient, benzalkonium chloride, is permissible in hand sanitizers by the FDA but may be less effective.

As recommended by the CDC, the most effective way to remove germs is by washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. In cases where this is not possible, hand sanitizer can be used as an alternative.

In an attempt to help our community as best we can, Anresco Laboratories (in partnership with our sister company, Micro-Tracers) has developed a capacity to manufacture 70% ethanol-based hand cleansing solutions. Every batch is tested to verify the efficacy of our products. 10% of proceeds will go towards the donation of bottles to organizations in need. Orders can be placed here.