The FDA is warning consumers and health care providers that the agency has seen a sharp increase in hand sanitizer products that are labeled to contain ethanol (also known as ethyl alcohol) but that have tested positive for methanol contamination. Methanol, or wood alcohol, is a substance that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested and can be life-threatening when ingested.
Please be aware that these products were sold nationwide at retailers including Walmart and Target. The FDA advises consumers not to use hand sanitizers from the companies listed, or products with these names or NDC numbers on the list of recalled hand sanitizer products.
FDA Urges Consumers Not Use Certain Hand Sanitizer Products
The following chart outlines the information on hand sanitizer labels for consumers to use to identify a product that:
- Has been tested by FDA and found to contain methanol or 1-propanol.
- Is labeled to contain methanol.
- Has been tested and is found to have microbial contamination.
- Is being recalled by the manufacturer or distributor.
- Is subpotent, meaning it has less than the required amount of ethyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol or benzalkonium chloride.
- Is purportedly made at the same facility as products that have been tested by FDA and found to contain methanol or 1-propanol.
- Is packaged in a container that resembles a food/beverage container that presents increased risk of accidental ingestion.
FDA remains vigilant and will continue to take action when quality issues arise with hand sanitizers. The agency is especially concerned with:
- The dangers of drinking any hand sanitizer under any conditions. While hand sanitizers with possible methanol contamination are more life-threatening than those that are not contaminated, FDA urges consumers not to drink any of these products.
- Certain hand sanitizers that may not contain a sufficient amount of ethyl alcohol or isopropyl alcohol.
- Hand sanitizers that are sold or offered for sale with false and misleading, unproven claims that they can prevent the spread of viruses such as COVID-19, including claims that they can provide prolonged protection (e.g., for up to 24-hours).
- Products that are fraudulently marketed as “FDA-approved” since there are no hand sanitizers approved by FDA.
- Products packaged to appear as drinks, candy or liquor bottles, as well as products marketed as drinks or cocktails because their appearance could result in accidental ingestion or encourage ingestion. Children are particularly at risk with these products since ingesting only a small amount of hand sanitizer may be lethal in a young child.
- Products labeled with harmful or poisonous ingredients, such as methanol.
View the complete list or a detailed list on the FDA website containing information about the manufacturer and a specific product recall reasoning.