Health Canada recalls more than 50 hand sanitizers in evolving list

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Health Canada is recalling more than 50 hand sanitizers that contain “unacceptable” ingredients that may pose health risks.The organization says hand sanitizers containing “unacceptable types” of ethanol or denaturants have not been approved for use in sanitizers in Canada, and their safety and effectiveness have not been established.

Denaturants are ingredients added to ethanol to make it unfit for human consumption to prevent unintentional ingestion of hand sanitizers, especially by children.

Health Canada has stated that possible reactions to the ingredients include skin irritation, eye irritation, upper respiratory tract irritation, and headaches.

Health Canada has a living list on its website of 51 hand sanitizers that are currently being recalled and says Canadians should check the list regularly. The organization says to stop using the products listed and to consult a healthcare professional “if you have used these products and have any health problems.”

Health Canada says the use of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer should be used if soap and water are not available for proper hand washing.

Separately in the United States on Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report warning of serious adverse events, including death, associated with the ingestion of alcohol-based hand sanitizers containing methanol .

From May 1 to June 30, 15 cases of methanol poisoning were reported in Arizona and New Mexico associated with ingestion of alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Four patients died and three were discharged with visual impairment.

Health Canada says Frequent use of hand sanitizer containing methanol may cause dermatitis, eye irritation, upper respiratory tract irritation, and headache.



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