Mounting poisonings, blindness, deaths as toxic hand sanitizers flood market

A gloved hand dispenses goo into an open bare hand.

Enlarge / Hand sanitizer being applied to a person’s hand. (credit: Getty | Leopoldo Smith)

The Food and Drug Administration is renewing warnings this week of dangerous hand sanitizers as it continues to find products that contain toxic methanol—a poisonous alcohol that can cause systemic effects, blindness, and death.

The agency’s growing “do-not-use list” of dangerous sanitizers now includes 87 products. And with the mounting tally, the FDA also says there are rising reports from state health departments and poison control centers of injuries and deaths.

“We remain extremely concerned about the potential serious risks of alcohol-based hand sanitizers containing methanol,” said FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn in a statement.

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