FDA Recalls Health Products Due To ‘Substantial Methanol Exposure’

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a recall of certain skin care and cleanliness products, citing a dangerous amount of methanol in the compounds.

On April 5, the government agency announced that multiple lots of hand sanitizer and aloe gel should be discarded because of the high concentration of methanol in the products, which is a significant health threat for users.

The recall of the products, which are said to contain “alcohol denatured with methanol,” impacts 40 packages of two products from the Aruba Aloe brand, including the Alcoholada Gel and the Hand Sanitizer Gel Alcohol 80%. The “substantial methanol exposure” from the products could lead to more minor reactions like headaches, blurred vision and nausea as well as serious adverse events such as comas, seizures and permanent blindness.

The affected hand sanitizer is in 12-ounce dark green bottles with white labels. The impacted aloe gel includes both 2.2 fl oz and 8.5 fl oz plastic bottles. This product is designed to temporarily soothe symptoms of minor skin ailments like sunburns and bug bites.

According to the FDA, the risk of “methanol poisoning” is higher among “young children who accidentally ingest these products” as well as “adolescents and adults who drink these products as an alcohol.” Despite the serious risk, however, the agency said that—as of Friday, April 5—the company that produces the contaminated products “has not received any reports of adverse events related to” the recalled hand sanitizer and aloe gel.

The impacted products were sold between May 1, 2021, and Oct. 27, 2023. They were purchased in the United States through the Aruba Aloe Balm N.V. website. Every customer who purchased the recalled products will be given “a discount coupon for a next purchase.”

The FDA warned that everyone who has the recalled products in their possession “should stop using and discard” them.

This is not the first time in recent years that hand sanitizer was recalled. A major recall of hand sanitizer products was issued by the FDA in 2020, as cleaning products were being purchased at record levels due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to reports at the time, the agency pulled 75 different brands of hand sanitizer from the shelves.

The recall came after 11 deaths and 30 hospitalizations following the use of the products, which contained methanol instead of the advertised ethanol content.