Hand Sanitizer Safety

August 18th, 2020


On July 27, Liberty members were sent a special COVID-19 update on important news that was released from the FDA regarding some important safety information concerning certain brands of hand sanitizers. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, hygiene practices like the frequent use of hand sanitizer has become a very important part of our lives.  

Former Associate Commissioner of the FDA and Liberty HealthShare Advisory Member, Peter Pitts was able to offer insight to our Liberty members to help us better understand hand sanitizers and how you can continue to protect yourself from the coronavirus. 

Recently Peter explained why the FDA has recalled some hand sanitizers, what to look for and what questions to ask if you’re using hand sanitizer.

Methanol Contaminated Hand Sanitizers

To date, 150 hand sanitizers have been recalled by Food and Drug Administration to protect consumers against sanitizers that had tested positive for methanol contamination.

During this time, it is most important to maintain enhanced personal hygiene and using hand sanitizer is a very effective tool in staying healthy. With this in mind, there are some products out there that the FDA has identified as containing methanol, which can be very dangerous when absorbed through your skin.

The effects of using these hand sanitizers which contain methanol can be dangerous to the health of those who come in contact with them.

What does this mean for us as consumers and users of hand sanitizers?

Peter Pitts explained that many of these products are off the shelves now. Though, if you have any concerns about a product you have purchased, you should go back to the store you purchased the hand sanitizer from and ask the pharmacist if the product is safe.

Often when out in public, whether you are at a restaurant or a store, there may be sanitizer dispensers available on their premises. Before using it, be sure to ask the staff where the product is from. Many times the brand name on the dispenser is not necessarily the same hand sanitizer that's in the dispenser, so it is always safer to ask first before using.

What to do if you are concerned about you or your family’s exposure to contaminated hand sanitizers

If you or a loved one has been exposed to hand sanitizer that contains methanol and are experiencing symptoms, please seek immediate treatment from your medical provider. Also, consult the pharmacy or store where you purchased the hand sanitizer and ask if it is one of the products that has been recalled.

If you are concerned about a product make sure to check out the label on your sanitizer.

Although this recall is concerning, it is still very important to continue implementing frequent hygiene and safety practices into your daily routine. For the latest information, please consult the FDA website,

You can view the COVID-19 message especially for our Liberty HealthShare members. 

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