Methanol, a toxic ingredient that may be present in your hand sanitizer

By Michael Bartlett

Posted on July 22nd, 2020

The Food and Drug Administration has recently found methanol to be present in a certain brand of hand sanitizer manufactured in Mexico, exposure to which can lead to serious health problems. Thereby, you should pay close attention to the products you are using.

As a toxic, colorless, volatile flammable liquid alcohol, methanol is highly dangerous to our health and exposure can lead to the development of numerous terrible problems. While it is mostly used as a feedstock to manufacture various chemicals which, in turn, are included in products such as adhesives, foam, solvents, and windshield washer fluid, methanol has recently been found by the Food and Drug Administration in a certain brand of hand sanitizer. On June 19, 2020, the federal agency advised consumers to avoid using the hand sanitizer manufactured by Eskbiochem SA de CV in Mexico, as it has methanol as the main ingredient. Exposure to methanol from hand sanitizer occurs when you put it on the skin, as the toxic agent can easily absorb through the skin, as well as when you ingest hand sanitizer, which is something you should never do, regardless of the brand of the product. The health effects of exposure to methanol from hand sanitizer are very serious, which is why we strongly encourage you to pay close attention to the products you are buying. It is worthy of note that you will not find the ingredient methanol on the label of hand sanitizers, as companies are trying to cover up the use of this dangerous agent.

During the coronavirus pandemic, the Food and Drug Administration had to relax the rules concerning the manufacturing of hand sanitizer and the ingredients which go into it, as the demand for this product has increased exponentially. For this reason, some companies have been trying to ignore the rules and include toxic agents such as methanol in their products, as they were a much cheaper alternative. According to one of our attorneys, Kevin McKie, "companies would cut corners and try to make a little money here and there" during the pandemic.

What health problems can exposure to methanol cause?

If you have been using the hand sanitizer manufactured by Eskbiochem SA de CV, the first thing you need to do is stop using it completely. Subsequently, you should seek medical attention immediately, as the use of this product may have caused serious damage to your health. Thereby, you have to be examined by a medical professional, which will be able to tell you with certainty whether your health has been affected by the use of methanol or you are safe. Furthermore, if you accidentally put a hand sanitizer containing methanol on your skin, you should wash it off immediately, as it can absorb through the skin and cause serious health problems to you. Unlike exposure to other toxic agents, the health effects of exposure to methanol are immediate and include the following:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • headaches
  • dizziness
  • blurred vision
  • permanent blindness
  • drowsiness
  • seizures
  • damage to the nervous system
  • confusion
  • trouble with coordination
  • a reduced level of consciousness

If you were exposed to methanol by applying hand sanitizer and experience one of the above symptoms, please seek medical attention and, subsequently, file a claim by contacting a product liability attorney. Unfortunately, we do not pursue such cases, but we can refer you to a law firm in your area which can help you recover the compensation you deserve for your injury. Although product liability cases are very complex and the expertise of medical specialists is necessary, seeking financial compensation for your injury is definitely worth it, as you will not only recover the money you are entitled to, but you will also hold the responsible company liable for their negligent actions.