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Nearly 150 hand sanitizers now on FDA's 'do not use' list

The hand sanitizers may be toxic due to methanol or they may have less than the required amount of alcohol.

The Food and Drug Administration has now listed 149 hand sanitizers to avoid because they may contain methanol, which can be toxic, or have less than the required amount of alcohol.

Some sanitizers on the list have tested positive for methanol contamination, while others have less than the required amount of either ethyl alcohol or isopropyl alcohol, making them less effective.

Methanol, according to the FDA, is a substance that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin. It can also potentially be deadly when ingested.

Most of the flagged hand sanitizers were produced in Mexico, but a handful were produced in the U.S. or China. The FDA alerted consumers back in June to an initial list of nine hand sanitizers potentially containing methanol. 

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Amid the coronavirus pandemic, hand sanitizer sales have surged as many look to use the liquid to decrease the presence of the coronavirus on the hands.

The FDA warned that young children who accidentally ingest these potentially toxic hand sanitizers and those who may drink it as an alcohol substitute are most at risk of suffering methanol poisoning.

Consumers experiencing symptoms stemming from exposure to hand sanitizer containing methanol should seek immediate treatment for the potential reversal of toxic effects of methanol poisoning, according to the FDA. Symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma or permanent damage to the nervous system.

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