The U.S Food and Drug Administration has identified the use of Methanol in Hand Sanitizers, and it possesses a substantial medical risk. They have classified it as a toxic substance that can cause nausea, nerve damage, and even blindness if exposed to human skin in higher concentrations.
Since June, FDA has banned dozens of sanitizers containing harmful levels of methanol. The Federal Agency has a list on its website for flagged Hand Sanitizer products. The Sanitizers on the list are lab tested and can pose a severe risk to a person in case of ingestion.
Thoughtless manufacturing processes are to be blamed for causing this vulnerability for millions of people. Production processes and the end products are not being checked by regulating authorities. FDA suspects that producers are violating the guidelines by using high methanol solvent as their base.
Usually, people are not aware of the smell difference between Ethanol and Methanol. The companies producing Sanitizers with higher concentrations of Methanol are not even listing it in the Ingredients. This only makes the situation even worse. Hence, staying on the safe side, people should check on the FDA’s list of what products should not be used.
Previously, FDA issued a warning on contaminated products labelled as Ethanol, whereas they had Methanol in higher concentrations. Unfortunately, consumers face difficulty in tracing out the right product when production companies are simply deceiving.
It cannot be expected from the general public to know the difference in the smell of dangerous Methanol distilled products with that of Ethanol Distilled. In an attempt to give us an idea, Blaum told that Ethyl Acetate smells more like nail polish remover, whereas Methanol has a similar smell but with a more synthetic touch. Researchers added, manufacturers are using scents in the production processes to mask the chemical smell of a potentially harmful substance.
It is in everyone’s interest to follow the FDA updated list on almost all of the Hand Sanitizer products. The list helps us distinguish between the harmful products with those which the FDA recommends.