Once COVID-19 was first discovered within the United States, hand sanitizer became difficult to find online and in stores. Even before the pandemic, hand sanitizer was commonly recommended to keep your hands clean both in public and at home. The national shortage has led to new and existing companies moving into the hand sanitizer businesses, which has unfortunately led to toxic products that contain methanol. As a safety supplier, PK Safety wants you to be aware of this dangerous ingredient.
Methanol is a toxic ingredient that’s dangerous when ingested or absorbed through the skin. It can be fatal in large quantities. While anyone exposed to methanol is at risk, children are especially vulnerable, as are adults who drink it as a substitute for ethanol alcohol. According to safety experts, substantial methanol exposure can cause the following issues:
- Blurred vision
- Permanent blindness
- Permanent nervous system damage
The FDA has a searchable database that consumers can use to check if their hand sanitizer is safe, and you can check their website for full details on methanol-containing products. You can also use the FDA website to report any bad reactions you’ve had to hand sanitizer in the last few months.
If you have a methanol-containing hand sanitizer, dispose of it by placing it in a hazardous waste container. Do not dump these products down any drains. If you’ve used methanol-containing hand sanitizer in the last few months, seek medical treatment immediately.
Stay Safe and Hygienic
Other than avoiding any products with methanol on their hand sanitizer ingredient list, avoid those that are labeled “FDA-approved.” The FDA has not approved any hand sanitizers, so that claim is automatically false. Also, be wary of those that claim to provide 24-hour protection against viruses, including coronavirus, or other claims without evidence. Choose hand sanitizers that contain at least 60% ethanol (ethyl alcohol) for maximum effectiveness.
If you can’t get hand sanitizer, both the FDA and CDC recommend thorough hand-washing and good hygiene practices. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds several times a day, especially after using the bathroom, before eating, and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
Your Safety Experts at PK Safety
Keeping workers safe is what PK Safety has been doing for decades, and the coronavirus pandemic is no exception. We’re prepared to keep our workers safe while delivering high-quality coronavirus PPE during these unprecedented times. You can contact us online or by phone at 800.829.9580 with your workplace safety and equipment questions.