SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — More than 80 kinds of hand sanitizer are contaminated with methanol, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The sanitizers are labeled containing ethanol or ethyl alcohol.
The FDA says methanol, or wood alcohol, is a substance that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested and can be life-threatening when ingested. The agency is also aware of adults and children ingesting hand sanitizer products contaminated with methanol that has led to adverse events including blindness, hospitalizations and death.
One South Dakotan has died from methanol poisoning, state epidemiologist Dr. Joshua Clayton said in Thursday’s South Dakota Department of Health media briefing.
Clayton said three people have been hospitalized with methanol poisoning, including the person who died.
The symptoms of methanol poisoning, according to the FDA are: nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death.
Although people using these products on their hands are at risk for methanol poisoning, the FDA states young children who ingest these products and adolescents and adults who drink these products as an alcohol (ethanol) substitute are most at risk.
The FDA has a search engine you can use to see if your hand sanitizer is being recalled due to methanol contamination.
If you think you may have a sanitizer that is contaminated with methanol that is not on the list, complete and submit a report to the FDA.