US watchdog warns about life-threatening hand sanitizer

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The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cautioned members of the public against using certain alcohol-based sanitizers with a dangerous presence of methanol.

Methanol – or wood alcohol – is often used to create fuel or antifreeze and can be toxic when absorbed through the skin, and life-threatening when ingested.

In a statement, the government agency said it has placed an import alert to stop the sanitiser from entering the US, and it’s working with retailers and manufacturers to have products recalled and removed from store shelves.

It comes after the FDA issued a warning earlier this month after an increasing number of reports to poison control centres and state departments of health, with people experiencing blindness, cardiac effects and even death in some cases.

The agency said it continues to see these reports rise.

 

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