The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has recently recalled more than 115 different hand sanitizers as a result of the products failing testing standards. Most of the products have tested positive for methanol, while others show insufficient levels of alcohol overall and make them ineffective per FDA guidelines.
While hand sanitizer has been utilized more than ever this year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, officials at the FDA are warning consumers that not all hand sanitizers clean hands effectively, and some that have methanol, a type of alcohol that is toxic when ingested and can potentially be harmful when applied to the skin directly, can be dangerous.
The American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) reported more than 17,000 cases of hand sanitizer exposure to date this year, which represents a 51% increase compared to last year as a result of COVID-19 demands. The CDC found that as many of 4% of respondents reported having consumed or gargled hand sanitizers under the impression that it could prevent infection.
According to the FDA, most of the products on their list are labeled as “made in Mexico” and have multiple product codes and expiration dates. Some of the products on the list have been sold at Walmart and Target locations across the country.
Though alcohol is necessary to use in hand sanitizers, methanol can’t be compared to other types of alcohol that are used in effective sanitizers. According to the FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hand sanitizer products should contain at least 60% ethanol alcohol.
It’s recommended that consumers check their hand sanitizer’s drug facts before they buy to look for one of the following proven effective ingredients:
- Ethyl alcohol
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Benzalkonium chloride
Consumers should throw away any hand sanitizer products that contain methanol and avoid purchasing products without drug facts labels, as they may be improperly manufactured or formulated.
Negative Symptoms of Methanol Absorption
Absorbing methanol can lead to negative symptoms that include nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, blindness, coma, and sometimes, even death. Absorbing methanol through the skin causes it to metabolize in the body through the formation of a known carcinogen called formaldehyde. Even just 10 ml of methanol can cause blindness while 30 ml can result in death.
If you are experiencing any negative side effects from using hand sanitizer containing methanol, seek medical attention immediately. The sooner you act, the sooner a medical professional can treat you and prevent your symptoms from worsening.
Who is Liable for Defective Products?
A defective product is typically traced back to manufacturers, retailers, or distributors, depending on the nature of the flaw. Manufacturer companies can be held responsible if the product contains an error that occurred at the production stage – many dangerous drugs or products are caused by manufacturing issues.
Retailers like drug stores can be held liable for damages for selling consumers defective products, and distributors, which are considered the middlemen, can also be held responsible.
Holding Negligent Manufacturers & Retailers Accountable
At Bertram & Graf, L.L.C., our experienced attorneys are known for our success in handling product liability cases. Through our knowledge and resources, we can be trusted to handle your case with the professionalism and respect that you deserve. We can determine whether your product defect occurred as a result of manufacturing, design, or misleading marketing, which can help us hold negligent parties responsible for the harm they’ve caused. Whether you’ve developed cancer from using a drug or have been injured after using a medical device, we have a solution that can be tailored to fit your needs and goals. We can take the hassle out of your case so you can concentrate on healing during a painful time.
Call Bertram & Graf, L.L.C. today at (888) 398-2277, or contact us online for a free consultation if you’ve been injured or have fallen ill after using a dangerous or defective product. Our product liability attorneys have successfully handled claims filed against makers of drugs like Talcum, Belviq, and various opioids.