The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has come up with a longer list of hand sanitizers now. Out of these, some are sold at Costco, Walmart, and other similar national chain stores. At least 75 sanitizer brands are now on the list due to unhealthy levels of wood alcohol that they contain. Such a level of the chemical may even lead to severe injury or death.
According to the latest report by the FDA, more sanitizer brands are now coming into the radar constantly. All of these contain wood alcohol, scientifically known as methanol. You will be shocked to learn that if the skin absorbs methanol in any case, the result may be blindness or hospitalization. Moreover, in cases of ingestion, the result may even be the death of a person.
Right from the time when the novel coronavirus started affecting people, the health officials in America suggested everyone wash their hands frequently. Everyone must take 20 seconds to wash their hands. Moreover, the use of sanitizers is also essential to protect you from potential exposure to SARS-CoV-2. It is the medical term for the same coronavirus that is causing respiratory issues and causing death to millions when severe. As a result, there is a continuous increase in the demand for hand sanitizers. Therefore, newer brands are also making their way into the existing market in the United States of America, and more so in Mexico.
Understanding the market behavior
According to Dr. Stephen Hahn, FDA commissioner, it is unfortunate that several new brands are taking advantage of the increasing demand for hand sanitizers in America. They are stooping so low to make a hefty profit that they are not even considering the lives of so many people who will use their products. The use of unacceptable and dangerous ingredients such as methanol is completely prohibited. However, the same is happening and must be identified soon.
Adding to this, the president of the Center for Medicine and former FDA associate, Peter Pitts also stated his opinion. He says that the sale of such hand sanitizers is nothing short of selling unauthorized drugs in the open market. It is already clear that such brands are continuously making it to the supermarkets and chain stores because they are not following the steps of product safety properly.
Peter Pitts also pointed out a very serious point regarding the purchasing procedure of several large and small organizations. According to him, when an organization goes for bulk purchase, understanding the provenance of the product in concern is vital. It includes inquiring about the manufacturing place, whether it has passed the manufacturing standards of the FDA, and more. Well, in this case, none of these steps were followed.
Highlighting the toxic hand sanitizer brands
As per reports, BJ’s wholesale club recently called out some ‘Blumen Clear Advanced Hand Sanitizer’ that contains 70% alcohol which suggests an excessive level of methanol. The company issued an official statement saying that they are urging people to discontinue using any product from this brand if they are. It is a word of caution to make sure that people across America are safe against hazardous products. Apart from BJ’s wholesale club, both Walmart and Costco have also issued warnings against the use of Blumen sanitizers. The first list of products was put up by FDA back in May. Now there are dozens of names that are adding to this list every month.
It is still not clear how such hazardous products are making their way into the US market, and landing upon the store shelves. However, there must be scores of the newer brands that are coming into the market since the beginning of the pandemic. The senior vice president, marketing, communications & media relations at the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, Chris Krese says that the team is aware of what is happening. Therefore, they are looking out for what steps they can take in this regard.
Following is a basic list of some of the brands of hand sanitizers that must stop entering the US markets right now. It is for consumers to see if they are still using any of these, and to stop doing so immediately.
- Blumen products
- Assured Aloe
- Klar and Danvar sanitizers (labeled under Greenbrier International)
- Sanrio’s Hello Kitty sanitizer
- Modesa instant hand sanitizers
Places in danger
You can visit the FDA’s official website for the entire list of sanitizers with excessive methanol content. There are at least ten fatality cases and several hospitalization cases that have taken place recently in New Mexico and Arizona. Experts believe that all the cases have some link with sanitizers containing high levels of methanol. The cases also include those of alcohol overuse.
Amongst so many cases, two particular ones took place in Arizona after the purchase of non-branded sanitizers from the grocery store. The majority of the remaining are also cases from Arizona’s Apache County. It is a Native American reservation where alcohol is legally banned. The worst part is that people out here have been drinking hand sanitizers in place of alcohol for several years in Apache County. However, now people are falling sick because the natives are trying to make these chemicals at home nowadays.
Later, the Director of Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center Steven Dudley also confirms the same. He adds that during the process if someone is switching up ingredients, nobody will get to know. However, your habits will continue because you don’t know what is happening behind your back and ultimately fall sick.
Word of safety
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends now that everyone must use sanitizers that consist of alcohol, but not more than 60%. Besides, labeling the product is a must in all cases for security purposes. Also, it is advisable to not add any amount of alcohol to sanitizers that have the label of non-alcoholic. Last but not least, every consumer must go through the list of hazardous hand sanitizers to be aware of such brands.