FDA Recalls Hand Sanitizer Citing Health Risk

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recalled multiple lots of Aloe gel hand sanitizer amid reports that Aloe products that include methanol could pose a significant health risk.

One America News reported that the products in question are Aruba Aloe Hand Sanitizer Gel (80% Alcohol) and Aruba Aloe Alcoholada Gel. A statement from the FDA noted the products were recalled because they reportedly contain “alcohol denatured with methanol.”

The products, which purport to provide relief from sunburns, bug bites, and minor skin irritations, were marketed between May 2021 and October 2023, primarily via the Aruba Aloe Balm N.V. website.

Local 10 News reported the FDA’s risk statement and recall notice advised consumers to discard Aruba Aloe hand sanitizer products. The advisory warned that “substantial methanol exposure” could negatively impact the central nervous system.

CBS News reported that methanol is a “toxic alcohol typically found in antifreeze and windshield washer fluid” and that prolonged exposure could lead to flu-like symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, headaches and blurred vision.

The FDA warning urged users of hand sanitizers with methanol who experience flu-like symptoms or blurred vision to seek immediate medical attention, as failure to do so could lead to permanent blindness, falling into a coma or death.

CBS also noted that methanol poses a health risk to all users but that the highest risk groups are young children who inadvertently ingest the liquid and youth who drink sanitizer as an alcohol substitute.

Suppliers report that Aruba Aloe Balm N.V. hand sanitizer gel was packaged in a 12-ounce dark green plastic bottle. Aruba Aloe Alcoholada Gel is marketed in 2.2 and 8.5-ounce bottles.

The Aruba Aloe Balm barcode is 0 82252 03300 5. Lot number information can be found here. Barcodes for the Aruba Aloe Alcoholada Gel are 0 82252 34030 1 and 0 82252 03120 9. Lot number information can be found here.

FDA officials have identified methanol as a lead factor in hand sanitizer-related health issues. In the last year, the agency compiled a list of more than 600 potentially dangerous hand sanitizers, most of which use methanol rather than ethyl alcohol.

The Aruba Aloe Balm company is reportedly contacting customers via email to advise them of the recall and to offer a discount coupon for future purchases.

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