Hundreds of Recalls: Methanol-Contaminated Hand Sanitizer

The Partnership for Safe Medicines takes U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warnings  about counterfeit medicines and medical devices seriously.  When the first FDA alerts warning of methanol-contaminated hand sanitizers brands Blumen and Saniderm emerged, we reported them through our FDA alert system. (You can sign up to receive those alerts here. ) Within weeks however, this trickle of hand sanitizer recalls turned into a flood.  

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Methanol-laced hand sanitizers, like other #covidscams, have followed the spread of COVID-19 in a predictable pattern. Wherever scammers and counterfeiters saw an opportunity to make money off the pandemic, they took it. Reports of dangerous, contaminated hand sanitizer started appearing within three months of the first reports of coronavirus in the United States.

As of January 1, 2021, 225 different hand sanitizer brands representing hundreds of different hand sanitizers have been recalled by the FDA for containing deadly methanol. In May and June the U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported that four people were dead and another 26 had been hospitalized due to ingesting hand sanitizer made with methanol. Deaths were reported in Arizona, New Mexico, and South Dakota

The FDA has provided an easy-to-understand consumer update on how to tell if your hand sanitizer has been recalled.  You can also avoid methanol-contaminated hand sanitizer by the simple expedient of washing your hands. Children are particularly vulnerable to methanol poisoning, so please, help your kids take a cue from the Singing Walrus and the Baby Shark: washing your hands is easy.