FDA is warning consumers and health care providers that the agency has seen a sharp increase in hand sanitizer products that are labeled to contain ethanol also known as ethyl alcohol but that have tested positive for methanol contamination. Methanol, or wood alcohol, is a substance that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested and can be life-threatening when ingested.

Transliquid Technologies has issued a voluntary recall of Mystic Shield Protection Topical Solution due to Methanol in Texas, California, Louisiana and Massachusetts.

The Agency has extended the list of products which should not be used and can cause injury or even death if used. The agency is aware of adults and children ingesting hand sanitizer products contaminated with methanol that has led to recent adverse reactions including blindness, hospitalizations and death.

Methanol is not an acceptable active ingredient for hand sanitizers and must not be used due to its toxic effects. FDA’s investigation of methanol in certain hand sanitizers is ongoing. The agency will provide additional information as it becomes available.

Consumers who have been exposed to hand sanitizer containing methanol and are experiencing symptoms should seek immediate treatment for potential reversal of toxic effects of methanol poisoning. Substantial methanol exposure can result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, and permanent damage to the nervous system or death. Although all persons using these products on their hands are at risk for methanol poisoning, young children who accidentally ingest these products and adolescents and adults who drink these products as an alcohol substitute are most at risk.

Simply put, don't drink hand sanitizer.