HAN - this is an official CDC Health Advisory
Distributed via the CDC Health Alert Network
July 5, 2020, 7:15 PM ET
Serious Adverse Health Events Associated with Methanol-based Hand Sanitizers
Most commercially available alcohol-based hand sanitizers or rubs (ABHSR) contain either ethanol or isopropanol as active ingredients. On June 19, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advised consumers not to use any hand sanitizer manufactured by “Eskbiochem SA de CV” in Mexico, due to the potential presence of methanol, a “toxic alcohol”, as an active ingredient, which can cause blindness and/or death when absorbed through the skin or when swallowed. Since then, FDA has identified additional ABHSR products that contain methanol and is working with manufacturers and distributors on a voluntary recall of these products (https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-and-availability/fda-updates-hand-sanitzers-methanol).
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed with the New Mexico Department of Health and the New Mexico Poison and Drug Information Center that serious adverse health events occurred in seven patients who had purportedly ingested ABHSR in June 2020. Significant blood methanol concentrations were detected in all patients; four died, one critically ill patient recovered with loss of vision, and outcomes are pending on the remaining two critically ill patients. Two product samples were available for testing; preliminary results showed one product tested positive for methanol at the Scientific Laboratory Division, New Mexico Department of Health; the result on the second product is pending. CDC also confirmed with the Arizona Department of Health Services that the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center reported an additional six patients who purportedly ingested ABHSR in June 2020. Significant blood methanol concentrations were detected in these critically ill patients; two patients have been discharged from the hospital, one has permanent blindness, and four outcomes are pending.
Hand hygiene is an important part of the response to the emergence of COVID-19 in the United States. Practicing hand hygiene, which includes using ABHSR, is a simple and effective way to decrease the spread of pathogens and infections. Commercially available ABHSR usually contain either ethanol or isopropanol. However, some ABHSR that were manufactured in Mexico (https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-and-availability/fda-updates-hand-sanitzers-methanol) have been found to contain a significant amount of methanol. Repeated use of these products on the skin may result in methanol poisoning. However, the highest risk for methanol poisoning is by swallowing ABHSR products containing methanol. Examples include young children who accidentally swallow these products and adolescents or adults who intentionally swallow these products as an alcohol (ethanol) substitute. The clinical effects of methanol and ethanol poisoning are similar (e.g., headache, blurred vision, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, loss of coordination, and decreased level of consciousness), but methanol poisoning may result in severe metabolic acidosis and blindness, and can be fatal if untreated. Clinicians should be highly suspicious of methanol poisoning when a patient presents with a history of ABHSR ingestion, compatible signs and symptoms, and laboratory findings (e.g., elevated anion gap metabolic acidosis). Treatment of methanol poisoning includes supportive care, administration of an alcohol dehydrogenase inhibitor (e.g., fomepizole), and hemodialysis.
Recommendations for the Public
Seek immediate medical attention if you have swallowed alcohol-based hand sanitizer or rub or are experiencing symptoms from repeated use of these products on your skin and contact your poison center (1-800-222-1222) for advice. Signs and symptoms include headache, blurred vision or blindness, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, loss of coordination, and decreased alertness.
Do not swallow any alcohol-based hand sanitizers or rubs. These chemicals are not intended for human consumption and can lead to serious health issues, including death.
Only use alcohol-based hand sanitizers or rubs for their intended purpose – to clean hands.
Keep alcohol-based hand sanitizers or rubs out of reach of children and supervise their use.
Check your hand sanitizer products against the “FDA’s testing and manufacturer’s recalls” list (https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-and-availability/fda-updates-hand-sanitzers-methanol). If your product is on this list, stop using the product and dispose of it immediately in appropriate hazardous waste containers; do not flush or pour them down the drain.
For More Information
FDA website for updates on hand sanitizers containing methanol (https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-and-availability/fda-updates-hand-sanitzers-methanol)
For general questions about hand sanitizers, email FDA at COVID-19-Hand-Sanitizers@fda.hhs.gov
For questions about hand sanitizer containing methanol, email FDA at DRUGINFO@fda.hhs.gov
FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting (https://www.fda.gov/safety/medwatch-fda-safety-information-and-adverse-event-reporting-program) program to report adverse events or quality problems with hand sanitizer use
CDC coronavirus website (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus)
Association of American Poison Control Centers (https://www.aapcc.org)
American College of Medical Toxicology (https://www.acmt.net) for poisoning information
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protects people's health and safety by preventing and controlling diseases and injuries; enhances health decisions by providing credible information on critical health issues; and promotes healthy living through strong partnerships with local, national, and international organizations.
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Due to the Covid 19 issues and to ensure we follow the restrictions put in place to protect the residence health.
The Stem Board of Commissioners will be holding the July work session that is scheduled for 7/6/2020@ 6:30PM via teleconference.
The Board feels this is necessary to continue moving the Town forward. This call is open to Stem residence and is not open to public comments. If you would like to attend please send a request for bridge info to the
Town Clerk email@example.com
Thank you in advance
Town of Stem
You may have noticed some workers around Town Hall and the brick building next to Town Hall. Workers are replacing broken windows in Town Hall, removing a wood awning on the brick building that has deteriorated and is danger of collapsing, painting, pressure washing, and doing some other minor repairs on the two buildings.
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