British Columbians warned over hand sanitizers containing potentially toxic ingredient

British Columbians are being warned about some hand sanitizer products manufactured in Mexico, which may contain a potentially toxic ingredient.

The BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) says the hand sanitizers, made by Eskbiochem SA de CV in Mexico, may contain methanol, which is toxic if ingested and can irritate skin.

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The BCCDC says ingesting methanol is potentially life-threatening, and can cause nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, and coma.

Anyone who has ingested methanol should seek immediate medical attention. Those most at risk of ingesting hand sanitizer include children, people with dementia, and people using it as a substitute for alcohol, according to the BCCDC.

The BCCDC says it issued the warning after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an advisory last week.

Since that advisory went out, the BCCDC says that four people in B.C. have called to report having products from the U.S. recall list.

No injuries or toxicity from exposure to these products has been reported in B.C., according to the BCCDC.   

However, the organization is advising anyone who has hand sanitizers manufactured by the Mexico-based company to dispose of the products, and says to first pour the liquid or gel out before discarding the container, to avoid any accidental exposures for animals or people.

If you think someone has swallowed any amount of hand sanitizer, call your local poison control centre. The BC Drug and Poison Information Centre can be reached at 1-800-567-8911.

List of recalled products from the FDA:

  • 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)
  • Lavar 70 Gel Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-006-01)
  • The Good Gel Antibacterial Gel Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-010-10)
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-005-03)
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-009-01)
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-003-01)
  • Saniderm Advanced Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-001-01)
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