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Hand sanitizer being applied to the hands of a young woman

The list of hand sanitizers being recalled across the country has been expanded by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  At least 75 hand sanitizer brands have been recalled due to toxic levels of wood alcohol, which could lead to injury or death. Many of these hand sanitizers have been sold at Walmart, Costco, and other popular big-box stores.

Hand sanitizers have been a product in high-demand since the start of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The FDA has reported an increase in hand sanitizers that contain ethyl alcohol, also known as ethanol. And many of these have tested positive for methanol or wood alcohol, which, if absorbed through the skin, can lead to blindness, hospitalization, and even death if ingested. Young children are particularly vulnerable to this risk.

Some companies are taking shortcuts when it comes to consumer safety and are putting lives at risk to mass produce these hand sanitizers, putting dangerous ingredients, such as methanol, in their products. Dozens of hospitalizations and ten deaths in Arizona and New Mexico are connected to methanol in hand sanitizers.

In June, the FDA issued warnings about nine products that were made in Mexico. Since that time, more products have been added to the list. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that any hand sanitizer used by consumers contain at least 60 percent ethyl alcohol (ethanol) for it to be safe for use. This fact should be clearly labeled on the bottle of the hand sanitizer. Consumers should always read the ingredients on the hand sanitizer they are purchasing if the brand is unknown or unfamiliar to them.

One product that has been recalled is Blumen Clear Advanced Hand Sanitizer, sold by BJ’s Wholesale Club. This brand has been reported to contain 70 percent alcohol due to the amount of methanol contained in the product.  Costco stores have also sold Blumen hand sanitizer and recalled the product in May; Walmart did the same in July.

The FDA has issued an alert on several brands of hand sanitizers to prevent these products from coming into the U.S., which include the following:

  • Blumen products;
  • Klar and Danver Instant Hand Sanitizer (labeled as Greenbrier International);
  • Modesa Instant Hand Sanitizer Moisturizer and Vitamin E;
  • Hello Kitty Sanrio Hand Sanitizer;
  • Assured Aloe hand sanitizer.

If you are unsure if the hand sanitizer you are using is safe, look up the brand and product on the FDA consumer website. Also, check the label for any ingredients including methanol or wood alcohol.

The attorneys at Wooten Kimbrough Damaso & Dennis, P.A. represent victims who have been seriously injured by defective and dangerous products, including tire, automobile, and aircrafts, pharmaceutical and medical products, firearms, and machinery. If you have questions on this recall or have suffered harm by a dangerous or defective product, contact our law firm today for a free case evaluation.

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