The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a rare "import alert" Tuesday on alcohol-based hand sanitizers originating from Mexico that could potentially be hazardous to the health and safety of US consumers.
Last summer, the FDA began to issue warnings for consumers about counterfeit hand sanitizers from Mexico. Since the notice, an analysis completed by the agency found 84% of the hand sanitizers imported from the country were not in compliance with US standards.
Even though many of the products "were labeled to contain ethanol (also known as ethyl alcohol) but tested positive for methanol contamination, methanol, or wood alcohol, is a substance that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin and life-threatening when ingested," the FDA statement read.
The import alert has allowed the FDA to heavily scrutinize and detain hand sanitizer shipments from Mexico if need be.
"Consumer use of hand sanitizers has increased significantly during the coronavirus pandemic, especially when soap and water are not accessible, and the availability of poor-quality products with dangerous and unacceptable ingredients will not be tolerated," said Judy McMeekin, Pharm.D., FDA Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs.
McMeekin continued: "Today's actions are necessary to protect the safe supply of alcohol-based hand sanitizers. We will continue to work with our stakeholders to ensure the availability of safe products and to communicate vital information with the health and safety of US consumers in mind."
The FDA warned the potentially deadly Mexican hand sanitizer could cause "nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death."
What needs to be asked is if nefarious actions by entities in Mexico purposely manufactured deadly hand sanitizer to poison Americans?