Experts say some manufacturers have intentionally replaced ethanol with methanol in their now recalled hand sanitizer products to cut costs and meet demand amid shortages due to the COVID pandemic. -19 cause.
The Food and Drug Administration has continuously updated its list of dangerous hand sanitizers, which has since grown to nearly 150 products, due to the presence of toxic chemicals.
All detergents ̵1; brought into the market at the time of high risk – were recalled by the manufacturer or distributor after testing positive for methanol, a substance commonly used to make fuel. and antifreeze. The chemical can be toxic if absorbed through the skin and potentially fatal if ingested, according to the FDA.
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This list has been rapidly updated since June when regulators observed an increase in ethanol-containing hand sanitizers but positive for methanol contamination.
Patrick Penfield, a professor of supply chain management at the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University, told Newsweek that there is a tendency to use a more toxic chemical than ethyl alcohol because “the price of the ingredient has skyrocketed”.
Penfield said the price increase was a direct result of demand for disinfectants worldwide following the outbreak of the new coronavirus pandemic.
“So, in response to demand for hand sanitizer from the US, some Mexican hand sanitizer manufacturers started to replace ethyl alcohol with methanol to keep prices low and deliver them to their customers,” he told the door. row.
Aline Holmes, an associate professor of clinical practice at Rutgers College of Nursing, said the manufacturers’ decision to swap out toxic chemicals was “intentional,” according to Newsweek.
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In most cases, the toxic chemical does not appear on the label, according to the FDA. However, “methanol is not an acceptable ingredient in any medicine, including hand sanitizer, even if methanol is listed as an ingredient on the product label,” the agency said.
The agency’s failure to recall all potentially affected products “is putting consumers at risk of methanol poisoning,” the agency said.
According to the FDA, high exposure can lead to nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system, or death. Consumers experiencing symptoms should seek “immediate treatment,” the agency said.
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In the context that consumers are using products at higher rates, the FDA is advising consumers not to use any of the hand sanitizer products of any of the listed manufacturers even if the product is or specific batch numbers were not included in the recall “because some FDA manufacturers reported recalling only some – but not all – of their hand sanitizer products.
The agency also actively works with manufacturers to recalls products and urges distributors and retailers to “immediately” stop distributing and selling gel-like disinfectants due to the risk of methanol poisoning. .
The majority of methanol-containing hand sanitizers appear to be made in Mexico.
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