One of the important considerations when you are choosing hand sanitizer is to select a brand that is made of at least 60% ethanol. This is the best way to ensure that the hand sanitizer will kill more than 99% of the germs you are in contact with and still be safe for your hands.
With the advent of the pandemic, the CDC has recommended that people wash their hands with soap and warm water but if this is not an option, they recommend that people use hand sanitizer. With this sudden surge in demand for hand sanitizer products, many companies started increasing production. New companies have appeared on the market, ready to capitalize on this trend.
The key is to remember that hand sanitizer should be made of 60% or more ethanol and it should not contain methanol. If it does, it can be very toxic to your body. When people absorb methanol or breathe it in, their bodies break it down into formaldehyde and then a dangerous compound called formic acid. This compound can be toxic to your cells.
The USFDA regulates products such as hand sanitizer and they try to catch products that contain methanol. When they do, they recall them. Continue reading to learn how to tell if your sanitizer has been recalled.
Check the FDA List of Recalled Hand Sanitizers
The first thing that you can do is check the list of recalled hand sanitizers. The FDA constantly updates this list whenever they discover hand sanitizer that isn’t made following their guidelines. Usually, these products are recalled when they fail to meet the standards on randomized tests.
One common reason why they fail is that they are found to contain methanol even though they may not mention it in the ingredients list. Methanol is toxic when it is absorbed by your skin or when you inhale it. Another toxin, 1-propanol, will also provide reason for a recall. Finally, they might be recalled for having less than the required 60% ethanol. Without this level of ethanol, the product is ineffective.
Look for it in the Store
Another way to find out if your hand sanitizer has been recalled is to check your local stores. You may notice that a brand that used to be prominently displayed has disappeared from the shelves. While this could mean that the store is sold out, it could also mean that it has been recalled.
When the FDA issues a recall, stores are required to remove the product from their shelves. If you notice that a brand goes missing off the shelves, ask the store managers. They will be aware of the recall and why the product was removed.
Call the Company
If you already have the hand sanitizer in your possession and you are concerned that it has subsequently been recalled, you can call the manufacturing company. They are required to tell you if their product has been recalled. In fact, you may be able to send the product you have back to them for a refund or a replacement, or they may tell you to return it to the store where you bought it.
Hand sanitizer has become widely popular since the beginning of the pandemic. It offers a safe alternative when washing your hands with soap and water is out of the question. However, many new companies are popping up and trying to capitalize on this trend. Although some are safe, others may be toxic. They should not contain any methanol and new products by unknown brands might, even if they don’t tell you on the label.
You can check the FDA website to see a list of recalled hand sanitizers or you can ask at your local stores. If you have a product at home and want to know whether it has been recalled, you can call the manufacturer.