Ars Technica – The US Food and Drug Administration on Monday issued a first-of-its-kind alert to try to block the import of toxic hand sanitizers from Mexico,
The sanitizers have been flooding the market amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last June, the regulatory agency began issuing alerts and warnings for consumers about dangerous and counterfeit hand sanitizers, many of which were made in Mexico.
Since then, the FDA has issued alerts on 226 products.
An FDA survey conducted between April and December found that 84 percent of products tested from Mexico were not in compliance with FDA regulations.
Many of the concerning products are labeled as containing safe alcohols but actually contained methanol, an extremely poisonous form of alcohol associated with incorrectly distilled liquors that can cause blindness and even death.
The FDA discovered some other products containing another toxic ingredient, 1-propanol, while others simply contained insufficient amounts of safe alcohols for sanitation.
(Safe alcohols for hand sanitizers include ethanol, aka ethyl alcohol, at concentrations above 60 percent or isopropyl alcohol at concentrations above 70 percent.)
Along with spotting the dangerous products, the agency also said it began getting reports from states of methanol poisonings from sanitizers.
In some cases, poisoning can lead to blindness, cardiac effects, effects on the central nervous system, hospitalizations, and deaths in adults and children.
The agency notes that methanol exposures can cause nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system, or death …
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