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Delaware Health Alert Network #433

August 4, 2020 9:55 am


Health Update
Hand Sanitizers Manufactured By "Eskbiochem SA de CV" in Mexico Recalled Due to Adverse Health Effects

Summary

On June 19, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advised consumers not to use any hand sanitizers manufactured by “Eskbiochem SA de CV” in Mexico, because of the potential presence of methanol, a toxic alcohol that can cause blindness and/or death when swallowed or possibly absorbed through the skin. Since then, the FDA has identified several more alcohol-based hand sanitizers or rubs that contain methanol and is working with manufacturers and distributors on a voluntary recall of these products:https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-and-availability/fda-updates-hand-sanitzers-methanol.

Background

On July 5, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released an official health advisory (https://emergency.cdc.gov/han/2020/han00434.asp) after receiving reports of patients in New Mexico and Arizona who experienced serious adverse health effects, including blindness and death, after purportedly swallowing alcohol-based hand sanitizers or rubs. Since then, CDC has received several additional reports of exposures to methanol-based hand sanitizers or rubs in other states through the National Poison Data System (NPDS).

Adverse health effects related to methanol poisoning can include the following:

  •  Headache
  •  Blurred vision
  •  Nausea
  •  Vomiting
  •  Abdominal pain
  •  Loss of coordination
  •  Decreased level of consciousness
  •  Visual impairment or blindness
  •  Death

FDA is warning consumers and health care providers that the agency has seen a sharp increase in hand sanitizer products that are labeled to contain ethanol (also known as ethyl alcohol) but that have tested positive for methanol contamination. 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 aware of adults and children ingesting hand sanitizer products contaminated with methanol that has led to recent adverse events including blindness, hospitalizations, and death.

CDC is currently conducting enhanced monitoring using NPDS for calls to all U.S. poison centers that report exposure to methanol-based hand sanitizers. As part of this effort, in addition to our standard NPDS notification process, CDC will provide affected states with a weekly summary report of the calls to poison centers related to exposures to methanol-based hand sanitizers or rubs within their state.

Reporting

Weekly reporting regarding exposures to these products is expected to start on Tuesday, August 4, 2020. If you have questions about these notifications, or if you do not wish to receive these alerts regarding exposures to methanol-based hand sanitizers in your state, please contact cdctoxteam@cdc.gov.

Additional Information

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