Even though it’s long been available to customers, the COVID-19 pandemic certainly changed the rate at which we buy and use hand sanitizer. Conveniently portable bottles and wipes have become an increasingly common way to keep germs and viruses at bay while we’re out and about. But before you go to clean off with your next spray or squirt, you may want to hold off: One brand of hand sanitizer sold nationwide was just recalled. Read on for the latest warning from the FDA.
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On Feb. 21, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced that Washington-based nanoMaterials Discovery Corporation had voluntarily recalled its Alcohol Antiseptic 80% Alcohol Solution hand sanitizer sold under the brand name “Snowy Range Blue.” The move affects all lots produced by the company.
The recalled hand sanitizer is packaged in 4-ounce spray dispenser bottles featuring labels with a blue background and the code NDC 75288-100-04 printed above the listed ingredients. The company says the sanitizer was sent to distributors nationwide for sale on the consumer level.
Even though the product was intended to keep people safe by reducing “bacteria that potentially can cause disease,” the company says it pulled the hand sanitizer from the market when certain batches were found to contain dangerously high levels of methanol that exceed FDA limits.
According to the FDA, the toxic compound can cause symptoms such as “nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, [and] coma.” In extreme cases, it can cause “permanent damage to the nervous system or death.”
The agency warns this poses an exceptionally high risk for young children who accidentally drink the product or adults who consume it as a substitute for alcohol.
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According to the FDA’s notice, there have been no reports of adverse reactions or medical events related to the recalled hand sanitizer. But customers who purchased the product are advised to stop using it immediately and to throw it away or return it to its place of purchase for a refund.
Anyone who believes they may have experienced any health problems as a result of using the hand sanitizer should immediately contact their doctor or healthcare provider. Customers with questions can also contact nanoMaterials Discovery Corporation at the email address listed on the agency’s recall notice.
The latest hand sanitizer recall is just one example of how health and safety guidelines in the U.S. work to keep the public safe from potential harm. In fact, there have been several recent instances in which companies removed products from the market over serious health and safety risks.
On Feb. 1, the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced they were jointly investigating an “extensively drug-resistant” strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria that appeared to be connected to 10 different brands of artificial tears eye drops. By the end of January, the agencies reported that 55 patients across 12 states were infected, reporting symptoms such as eye inflammation, respiratory infections, urinary tract infections, and sepsis. In some more serious cases, patients also experienced permanent vision loss, hospitalization, and even one death due to a bloodstream infection.
As a result, Global Pharma Healthcare issued a voluntary recall of its EzriCare, LLC and Delsam Pharma Artificial Tears “out of an abundance of caution” and said it was “fully cooperating” with the investigation, CBS News reported. The CDC and FDA both advised consumers to stop using any of the recalled products and to immediately seek out medical care if they exhibited any symptoms of an eye infection.
Other cleaning and sanitizing products have also been the focus of a public safety alert. On Feb. 8, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that Colgate-Palmolive Company had recalled nine varieties of its Fabuloso household cleaning products, affecting nearly 5 million bottles sold nationwide. Like the eye drop recall, the company said it pulled the products from shelves after discovering they might be contaminated with Pseudomonas species bacteria, including Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Pseudomonas fluorescent.
The agency warned that while the microorganisms usually don’t affect healthy people, they can lead to a serious infection in “people with weakened immune systems, external medical devices, or underlying lung conditions.”
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