Over the last few months, Americans used hand sanitizer to protect themselves and others. But this important effort may have be hampered by the manufacture of unsafe sanitizers. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration listed 149 of these dangerous and defective products.

Earlier warnings

On June 19, the FDA issued a warning about hand sanitizers containing methanol and cited products manufactured by Eskbiochem SA de CV in Mexico. This is a type of wood alcohol that may be toxic when it is absorbed into the skin.

When this warning was issued, the market had nine products of concern. Over 100 more products were subsequently added.

The FDA announced in late July that it created an import alert to prevent specific sanitizers from entering the country. It is also seeking cooperation from retailers to stop their sale.

August warning

Earlier this month, the FDA announced the dangers of hand sanitizers contaminated with 1-proponol. This is a toxic and, when ingested, a potentially life-threatening alcohol.

The FDA’s warning to health care professional and consumers addressed certain hand sanitizer products including products made by Harmonic S de RL de MI Mexico. These are labeled as containing ethanol or isopropyl alcohol but tested positive for 1-proponal contamination.

Ingesting 1-propanol can cause potentially deadly central nervous depression. Signs of exposure include confusion, decreased consciousness, and slowed pulse and breathing. It can cause irritation if it gets into the eyes or on skin. There were also rare cases of allergic skin reactions.

1-propanol should not be confused with 2-propanol/isopropanol/isopropyl alcohol and is not an acceptable ingredient for hand sanitizers marketed in this country. 1-propanol is most dangerous to adolescents and adults who may consume it as an alcohol substitute and to young children. Anyone exposed to this product and having symptoms should immediately seek treatment for the toxic effects of 1-propanol poisoning.


Brands with products on the FDA’s current list include Blumen, Klar and Danver, Assured Instant Hand Sanitizer and Aloe, Hello Kitty Hand Sanitizer, LumiSkin, Modesa and V-KLEAN. The FDA’s website contains the entire list of 149 products.

The FDA recommends that you quit using any sanitizer on the list and dispose it in a hazardous waste container. Do not pour them down the drain or flush them.

Anyone injured by unsafe products may be entitled to compensation. An attorney can help hold manufacturers responsible for these injuries.