Medical experts are urging caution and telling Americans not to overuse hand sanitizer, especially if it was not manufactured in the United States. This is because the hand sanitizer might contain one toxic chemical: methanol.
Hand sanitizers in the U.S. are banned from using methanol. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) noted that it is not an “acceptable ingredient” in any drug, and can be toxic to the point of causing death. Instead, manufacturers of hand sanitizers use safer alternatives like isopropanol and ethanol.
But many disinfectant products produced overseas can still contain this potentially deadly chemical. Furthermore, the FDA has warned that not every hand sanitizer product in the American market that has methanol in it might not have it listed as an ingredient.
Doctors are warning that methanol can be absorbed through the skin. This can result in methanol toxicity. Some of its symptoms include vomiting, nausea, lightheadedness, heart palpitations and headaches, according to Dr. Jennifer Love, an adjunct instructor at Oregon Health and Science University. Long-term absorption of methanol could result in vision damage, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system and even death.Are you overusing hand sanitizer? Doctors say this could lead to blindness and even death – Dr. Eddy Bettermann MD