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Caution with Hand Sanitizers Containing Methanol

Hand hygiene is an important step in preventing disease transmission, especially COVID-19. If soap and water are unavailable, the CDC recommends using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol as ethanol or ethyl alcohol. Recently, the FDA identified some hand sanitizers that may contain methanol (also known as methyl alcohol or wood alcohol). Methanol can be toxic when ingested or absorbed through skin contact. Remind patients and families that hand sanitizer should never be ingested orally, especially as more dangerous ingredients are included. The FDA is regularly assessing hand sanitizers. A list of potentially impacted or recalled products can be found on the FDA website.

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