Hand Sanitizers Sold in Food and Drink Containers Could Be Deadly, FDA Warns
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday warned the public about alcohol-based hand sanitizers being sold in containers and packages that may appear as food and drinks.
The agency said these hand sanitizers might put consumers at risk of "serious injury or death" if ingested.
In a news release, the FDA said: "Some hand sanitizers are being packaged in beer cans, children's food pouches, water bottles, juice bottles, and vodka bottles."
The agency added that they found hand sanitizers that have food flavors, including raspberry or chocolate.
FDA commissioner, Dr. Stephen Hahn, said in a statement that he is "increasingly concerned" about the issue as consumers might be confused and may ingest a potentially lethal product.
Hahn noted that kids could smell the hand sanitizer and mistakenly believe that it is a food, then eat it and be poisoned due to its alcohol content.
According to Fox News, a consumer reportedly bought a hand sanitizer bottle and thought it was a drinking water. The consumer did not realize that it was a hand sanitizer.
In another report, it involved a hand sanitizer with cartoon marketing in what resembled a snack pouch.
Beware of alcohol-based hand sanitizers packaged in containers that may appear as food or drinks. These products may put you and your family at risk of serious injury, or death, if ingested. https://t.co/L77zYoyT2X pic.twitter.com/VkHdC0UQ7l — U.S. FDA (@US_FDA) August 27, 2020
The agency explained that drinking a little amount of hand sanitizer can injure a young child, who might get attracted by the pleasant smell or its bright-colored hand sanitizer bottle.
As per the FDA, drinking a hand sanitizer can affect the heart and the central nervous system of a person, who can possibly wind up in a hospital or, worse, lose their life.
The FDA asked the public, especially health care professionals, to report related issues to the agency's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program.
Meanwhile, the agency said it continued to proactively work with manufacturers to recall the potential dangerous hand sanitizer products.
The FDA also strongly encouraged retailers to remove those products from the store shelves and even to the online marketplace.
The FDA officials said buyers who want to report the quality issue they experienced with the hand sanitizer they bought must give all the needed information for the agency to identify the product.
The FDA also urged consumers to check the list of hand sanitizers posted on the agency's website so they will be aware of the products they must avoid in the market.
One ingredient that the FDA mentioned being on the lookout is methanol. The FDA has already banned more than 170 products in the past months due to having methanol compounds, as per the IB Times.
The agency pointed out that several hand sanitizers have 1-propanol, which is toxic and could be life-threatening. The FDA noted that more products contain 1-propanol but missing in the brand's label.
Early this month, the FDA also issued a warning about using hand sanitizers to clean the dog's paws. The agency said that such practice could make a dog ill as the canine can unintentionally ingest the substance.
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