U.S. health authorities once again warned Monday that people avoid acquiring a growing list of imported hand sanitizers that could be contaminated with the toxic chemical methanol.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) noted that there have been increasing reports of injuries from people using — and sometimes ingesting — unauthorized disinfectants, which can cause blindness, heart problems, and death.
The active ingredient that kills germs in legitimate disinfectants is ethyl alcohol, which is consumable. But some Mexican companies have been replacing it with methanol, a toxic substance used in antifreeze.
The FDA issued a first warning to consumers about these products last month.
Last week, the agency sent a warning letter to the Mexican manufacturer Eskbiochem SA de CV for marketing disinfectant with more than 80% methanol and falsely claiming that the FDA had approved it.
The agency has published on its website a list of more than 80 disinfectants that should not be used and blocked their import. He said he is working with retail companies to remove products that are still in American stores. In general, illegitimate gel disinfectants do not mention on their label that they have methanol.
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