hand sanitizer

All hand sanitizers are NOT created equal.

During the worst of the pandemic, in and around New York City where I was quarantining, I couldn’t buy enough hand sanitizer.  I only bought ones that contained 60% or more of isopropyl alcohol which I had read somewhere early on was the most effective at killing bacteria and germs.  Of course, anything with isopropyl alcohol was almost impossible to come by. I wasn’t interested in hand sanitizers with lavender, lemongrass or thyme – I wanted the hard stuff.

Hand sanitizer gel                                                                                                              image from The Street.com

Like hand sanitizers, alcohols are not all the same.  Ethanol and isopropyl alcohol are the only approved, safe and effective types of alcohol that you should be using as hand sanitizers or ingredients in hand sanitizers.

Recently the FDA came out with a warning about hand sanitizers that contain wood alcohol, also known as methanol.  You won’t know if the hand sanitizer contains methanol because it will not be listed in the ingredients since it is not an acceptable ingredient.  The label may say only alcohol.

Methanol is dangerous because as it is absorbed through the skin it becomes toxic.   Exposure to methanol can cause permanent blindness, seizures, coma, nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, damage to the nervous system and even death.

hand sanitizer chemicals                                                                                                                         Alamy Stock Photo

Starting in July 2020 the FDA saw a sharp increase in hand sanitizers that are labeled to contain ethanol alcohol but in fact contained methanol.  The only way to know if a hand sanitizer is safe to purchase and use is to check the FDA’s constantly updated list of producers and products to avoid. As of early August over 100 brands of hand sanitizer on the market have been recalled by the FDA for containing methanol.

recalled hand sanitzers                                                                                 Toxic hand sanitizer                                         Recalled hand sanitizer

Here is the most recent FDA list of manufacturers and products to avoid currently:

A list of the most recent hand sanitizer products added to the FDA’s list. (See here for a full list of all hand sanitizer products the FDA says consumers should not use.)

Manufacturer Distributor Date added to FDA list Product
Asiaticon SA de CV (Mexico) Astrum LLC 08/06/2020 V-KLEAN Hand Sanitizer Gel
Asiaticon SA de CV (Mexico) Asiaticon 08/06/2020 V-KLEAN Hand Sanitizer Gel
Asiaticon SA de CV (Mexico) Acadia Mercantil Corp. 08/06/2020 V-KLEAN Hand Sanitizer Gel
Asiaticon SA de CV (Mexico) Protex Labs 08/06/2020 V-KLEAN Hand Sanitizer Gel
Asiaticon SA de CV (Mexico) Protex Labs 08/06/2020 Derma70 Hand Sanitizer
Asiaticon SA de CV (Mexico) SWCH LLC 08/06/2020 V-KLEAN
Asiaticon SA de CV (Mexico) SBL Brands 08/06/2020 Medically Minded Hand Sanitizer Gel
Asiaticon SA de CV (Mexico) Safety-Med Products 08/06/2020 Protz Real Protection Antibacterial Hand Sanitizer
Botanicals Internacional SA de CV (Mexico) Good Fibers LLC 08/06/2020 All Clear Hand Sanitizer Fragrance Free
Botanicals Internacional SA de CV (Mexico) Pure Haven 08/06/2020 Alcohol Antiseptic 80% topical solution hand sanitizer
Botanicals Internacional SA de CV (Mexico) Inambtec SA de CV 08/06/2020 Inatek Hand Sanitizer Non-Sterile Solution
Botanicals Internacional SA de CV (Mexico) 08/06/2020 Total Pure Alcohol Based Hand Sanitizer Gel
Botanicals Internacional SA de CV (Mexico) USMed Supplies LLC 08/06/2020 70% Alcohol Gel Hand Sanitizer
Botanicals Internacional SA de CV (Mexico) Quick Aid LLC 08/06/2020 ResQue 1st Instant Hand Sanitizer
Botanicals Internacional SA de CV (Mexico) LTD Enterprises Distribution 08/06/2020 70% Alcohol Gel Hand Sanitizer
Botanicals Internacional SA de CV (Mexico) USMed Supplies LLC 08/06/2020 70% Alcohol Gel Hand Sanitizer
Estrategia Hospitalaria SA DE CV (Mexico) Ancorp Capital Group USA 08/06/2020 OZO Hand Sanitizer, Luxury Formula
Grupo Insoma S.A.P.I de CV (Mexico) CIRG Waste & Recycling Solutions US LLC 08/06/2020 Hand sanitizer
Ismar Soluciones Dinámicas S de RL de CV (Mexico) Ancorp Capital Group USA 08/06/2020 OZO Hand Sanitizer
Noticias Mexico Hoy Grupo Multimedia (Mexico) Medical Mary LLC 08/06/2020 Medical Mary Clean Hand Sanitizer
Noticias Mexico Hoy Grupo Multimedia (Mexico) AMX Premium Cleaning Services, LP 08/06/2020 AMX Instant Hand Sanitizer
DEPQ Internacional S de RL de CV (Mexico) Biokaab Inc. 08/03/2020 dgreen Advanced Sanitizer Alcohol Free
DEPQ Internacional S de RL de CV (Mexico) Biokaab Inc. 08/03/2020 dgreen Advanced Hand Sanitizer Antibacterial Gel
DEPQ Internacional S de RL de CV (Mexico) Biokaab Inc. 08/03/2020 Hand Sanitizer
DEPQ Internacional S de RL de CV (Mexico) Biokaab Inc. 08/03/2020 Hand Sanitizer Gel
DEPQ Internacional S de RL de CV (Mexico) 08/03/2020 Clean Humans Hand Sanitizer
Notarika SA de CV (Mexico) Notarika SA de CV 8/03/2020 Greenfrog Hand Sanitizer
Notarika SA de CV (Mexico) Notarika SA de CV 08/03/2020 Greenfrog Hand Sanitizing wipes
Quimica Magna de Mexico SA de CV (Mexico) 08/03/2020 Datsen Hand Sanitizer
Quimica Magna de Mexico SA de CV (Mexico) Quimica Magna de Mexico SA de CV 08/03/2020 Alcohol Antiseptic 62% Hand Sanitizer
Quimica Magna de Mexico SA de CV (Mexico) Inflatables LLC 08/03/2020 Bernal Hand Sanitizer
Quimica Magna de Mexico SA de CV (Mexico) Inflatables LLC 08/03/2020 Alcohol Antiseptic 65% Hand Sanitizer; Alcohol Antiseptic 70% Hand Sanitizer
Roque Plast SA de CV (Mexico) Roque Plast SA de CV 08/03/2020 Command Gel AntiBac Instant hand sanitizer
Spartan Chemical Co Inc. (Ohio) 08/03/2020 Lite ’n Foamy Lemon Blossom Hand Sanitizer
Spartan Chemical Co Inc.

(Ohio)

08/03/2020 foamyiQ Lemon Blossom Hand Sanitizer
From The Washington Post

If you have purchased any of the recalled brands, you should dispose of it safely. Use a hazardous waste container or dispose as recommended by your local waste management and recycling center.  Do not flush or pour it down the drain or mix it with other liquids.

 

For more hand sanitizers that we like, read this ASE article. Not all of them are currently available, but they are working hard to fill orders. There will always be a need for these products.

The Best Hand Sanitizers

best hand sanitizers