They found products that tested positive for contamination of this toxic substance that can lead to death. “This is the first time that the FDA has issued a nationwide import alert for any category of pharmaceutical product,” the agency said.
All alcohol-based hand sanitizers of Mexican origin sold in the United States were placed on import alert because some products tested positive for contamination of methanol, a toxic substance if absorbed through the skin and that can be fatal when ingested, reported the U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA).
The sense of the alert is to help stop products that appear to violate the rules to enter the United States, until the agency can review the safety of these products, of which, he added, has seen a sharp increase throughout the pandemic.
” They were labeled to contain ethanol (also known as ethyl alcohol), but they tested positive for methanol contamination , “ the agency said.
He stated that under the import alert, alcohol-based hand sanitizers from Mexico offered for import are subject to increased scrutiny by the FDA, whose staff may stop the shipment.
“This is the first time that the FDA has issued an import alert nationwide for any category of pharmaceutical product,” the agency said in a statement issued Tuesday.
Consumer use of hand sanitizers has increased significantly during the coronavirus pandemic, and the availability of poor-quality products with dangerous and unacceptable ingredients will not be tolerated, said Judy McMeekin, Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs for the Federal Agency.
He added that in his analyzes of alcohol-based hand sanitizers imported from Mexico, it was found that 84% of the samples studied between April and December 2020 did not comply with the Agency’s regulations.
It found that more than half of the samples contained toxic ingredients, including methanol and/or 1-propanol, at dangerous levels, which is why they have been included in the list of hand sanitizer products that consumers should not use.
” In most cases, methanol is not listed as an ingredient on the product label ,” he noted.
He cautioned that methanol-contaminated hand sanitizers are a serious safety concern and that poison control centers and state health departments are aware of adverse events such as blindness, cardiac and central nervous system effects that force hospitalizations and even lead to death.
“Although people who use these products on their hands are at risk of methanol poisoning, young children who ingest these products and adolescents and adults who take these products as a substitute for alcohol are at higher risk, ” he concluded.
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