Sales of hand sanitizers has increased by over 80% in the coronavirus pandemic. Demand for these products has soared, and many consumers are buying them for hygiene reasons.
However, the FDA has given strong warnings to consumers over one manufacturer – Eskbiochem SA de CV – over fears that the products aren’t safe.
According to the FDA, products from this supplier contain methanol, which is an unacceptable ingredient that makes them toxic. This chemical can be dangerous if accidentally ingested, and it’s believed small amounts can be absorbed through the skin.
The FDA has alerted the public to the risks of the following products manufactured by Ekbisochem:
- All-Clean Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-002-01)
- Esk Biochem Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-007-01)
- CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-008-04)
- Lavar 70 Gel Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-006-01)
- The Good Gel Antibacterial Gel Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-010-10)
- CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-005-03)
- CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-009-01)
- CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-003-01)
- Saniderm Advanced Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-001-01)
Like most over-the-counter drugs, hand sanitizers don’t need FDA approval and aren’t regulated. But, it’s important consumers are aware of the risks, as they can cause side effects like headaches and nausea; and, in extreme cases, seizures or nervous system damage.
The FDA has advised any consumers that have used any of the listed products to stop using them and to seek medical assistance, especially if it has been ingested or has been used by young children.
The company has been asked to remove these products from sale, but, so far, no action has been taken to do so.
The agency said in a press release that it “remains vigilant and will continue to take action when quality issues arise with hand sanitizers.”
“Additionally, the agency is concerned with false and misleading claims for hand sanitizers, for example that they can provide prolonged protection such as 24-hours against viruses including COVID-19, since there is no evidence to support these claims.”