Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Law Blog

Defective and Potentially Toxic Hand Sanitizers

Posted by Charles Gilman | Sep 15, 2020 | 0 Comments

Since the COVID-19/coronavirus outbreak, hand sanitizer has been a daily necessity for many. When hand washing is not available, hand sanitizer provides a way to get rid of most harmful viruses and bacteria on our hands. This can be an important step in reducing the spread of coronavirus. 

For a period in March and April, hand sanitizer was in short supply. People were hoarding the gel product or trying to price-gouge others who were desperate to protect themselves and their families. Many unscrupulous companies cut corners to sell hand sanitizer products that were unsafe and potentially toxic. Now, the FDA has issued a recall for a number of defective hand sanitizer products

Ethanol, Isopropyl, and Methanol Alcohol

According to the CDC guidelines, a recommended hand sanitizer should have at least 60% alcohol. However, not all alcohols are the same. Ethyl alcohol or ethanol is grain alcohol and is found in alcoholic beverages. Ethyl alcohol is generally safe for human use (but has intoxicating effects). Isopropyl alcohol, or rubbing alcohol, is generally safe to use on the outside of the body. 

Methyl alcohol or methanol is toxic and can be dangerous. Methanol is the type of alcohol found in paint thinner, antifreeze, and copy machine toner. Methanol can cause breathing problems, skin irritation, low blood pressure, blurred vision, blindness, and damage to the nervous system. 

Toxic Hand Sanitizers With Methanol

The FDA tested samples of a number of hand sanitizer brands and found the presence of methanol, which is not an approved ingredient for hand sanitizers due to its toxic effects. A number of hand sanitizer products have been traced to a company in Mexico called Eskibiochem. One of the brands, Lavar 70 Gel Hand Sanitizer was marketed as containing ethyl alcohol. However, tests showed it contained 81% methanol and no ethyl alcohol. 

According to the FDA, consumers who have been exposed to hand sanitizer with methanol should see immediate treatment, which may be necessary to reverse the toxic effects of methanol poisoning. Some of the brands of concern include: 

  • 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)

Injured By a Toxic Product

When a consumer is injured by a defective product, they may not know who was responsible or how to get compensation for their injuries. A product defect lawsuit allows the injury victim to hold the manufacturer or distributor liable for their damages. The injury victim does not have to show that one person was responsible. Instead, the company may be strictly liable because they were in a better position to keep the dangerous product out of the hands of unsuspecting consumers. 

The Gilman & Bedigian team is fully equipped to handle the process of bringing a defective product claim against those who were responsible for the injury. Do not hesitate to contact Gilman & Bedigian today for a free consultation.

About the Author

Charles Gilman

As managing partner and co-founder of Gilman & Bedigian, it is my mission to help our clients recover and get their lives back on track. I strongly believe that every person who is injured by a wrongful act deserves compensation, and I will do my utmost to bring recompense to those who need and deserve it.

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