USA – A news report on uspirg.org reports that twenty people have died using alcohol-based hand sanitizer that has been imported from Mexico and contains toxic methanol, which does not appear on the labeling. As a result of fatalities and dozens of sickness reports linked to toxic Mexican hand sanitizer products, the U.S: Food and Drug Administration has finally flagged all alcohol-based hand sanitizers imported from Mexico. The FDA reports that shipments of hand sanitizer from Mexico are being inspected more closely and might be detained.
According to the news report, this is the first time the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued an “import alert for any drug product from an entire country.” The import alert affects about 230 different hand sanitizer products believed to be unsafe. The safety alert was initiated following the FDA’s analysis of Mexican alcohol-based hand sanitizers from April through December. The analysis discovered that 84% of the samples tested were deemed unsafe due to dangerous levels of toxic ingredients such as methanol.
However, critics and safety advocates are angry about how slow the FDA responded and failed to protect consumers. Although the import safety alert was a satisfactory response, the fact that it took the FDA seven months to take this action is tragic. Mexican hand sanitizer containing methanol, or wood alcohol, is harmful when absorbed through the skin and is life-threatening if consumed. So far, toxic hand sanitizers have been linked to at least 20 deaths, and several cases of blindness and other illnesses and injuries in 2020, according to the FDA.
The hand sanitizer death crisis began last spring when the coronavirus pandemic gripped the nation, and there was a high demand, low supply issue with hand sanitizer from known manufacturers available for purchase in retail stores or online. Opportunists looking to profit from the low supply began selling hand sanitizer that contained toxic substances. Desperate customers bought up hand sanitizers to help keep their families safe. The average consumer would have no reason to believe that a hand sanitizer product can be manufactured and sold by companies that are not registered to sell their products in the United States.
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