With a viral pandemic sweeping the globe, protective equipment and antibacterial substances like hand sanitizer have been in short supply. Many companies have admirably shifted their supply lines to provide more of these products for those who need them. Unfortunately, some people see situations like this as a chance to take advantage of others. Mexican company Esk Biochem SA de CV has been accused of selling 9 different hand sanitizer products that have been found toxic.
The FDA recommends anyone using one of these products to stop using them and dispose of them immediately in hazardous waste containers. They ask people to NOT pour them down the drain, as this can spread the toxins through our environment. The brand and product names are:
- All-Clean Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-002-01)
- Esk Biochem Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-007-01)
- CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-008-04 or 74589-009-01)
- CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-005-03 or 74589-003-01)
- Lavar 70 Gel Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-006-01)
- The Good Gel Antibacterial Gel Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-010-10)
- Saniderm Advanced Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-001-01)
Toxic Products Use Methanol, Rather than Ethyl, Alcohol
Alcohol—even the type we drink sometimes—is toxic to the human body. Though we can deal with moderate amounts of ethyl alcohol (ethanol), the three other types of alcohol (methyl, propyl, and butyl) can be extremely harmful, even in small doses. That’s why, when the FDA’s tests found methanol rather than ethanol in the above hand sanitizers, they immediately asked the company to recall their products. The amount of methanol in the products tested by the FDA ranged from 28% to 81%.
Even in a product meant for exterior use, there is a possibility of methanol being absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream. An individual exposed to a high enough amount could suffer symptoms of toxicity. The FDA also warns that were a child to get hold of such hand sanitizer and ingest it, they could suffer from ethanol poisoning. The same is true for any adolescents or adults who drank the substance, believing it contained ethanol. Though the FDA has not yet received any reports of Americans suffering from methanol toxicity caused by these products, they nevertheless advise consumers to dispose of them in hazardous waste containers.
The Symptoms of Methanol Toxicity
Just because the FDA hasn’t heard of illnesses related to these products does not mean no one has or will be harmed. If you have used, or think you may have used, one of these products, beware of the following symptoms:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blurry vision
- Loss of vision
- Nerve damage
Those who ingest enough methanol may die due to its high levels of toxicity. If you or someone you love is experiencing any of the above symptoms after using a dangerous hand sanitizer, call 911 immediately.
Protecting Consumers Against Toxic Products & Dangerous Drugs
The toxic hand sanitizer released by Esk Biochem is unfortunately not the only dangerous medical product that has made it to American markets. Our attorneys have helped consumers pursue justice after being harmed by dangerous drugs and facing unknown exposure to toxins. Companies that lie to buyers in order to make a quick buck deserve to have the full weight of the law brought down on them—and that’s what our team is here to do.
We are not afraid to face big insurance companies or even multinational corporations in court. It is our job to help consumers get justice against powerful entities that have wronged them, and we’ll do whatever we can to help a client recover compensation. There is no excuse for releasing a product with known toxins onto the market, especially one disguised as an item people know to be safe. If you or someone you love has been harmed by a contaminated hand sanitizer or similar product, reach out to our team to learn about your legal options.