Hand sanitizers are one of the most important preventive methods used against the coronavirus that causes Covid-19. The pandemic caused people to adopt hygiene practices to help contain the spread of infection. This involves frequent hand washing and regular use of a good quality hand sanitizer.
Recently, several companies started manufacturing hand sanitizers considering the demand in the market. However, many companies are using misleading packaging to attract more consumers to their products.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued a warning against hand sanitizers packaged in food and drink containers. These hand sanitizers contain alcohol which is toxic upon consumption.
The FDA released a press release that stated that some companies are selling these products in beer cans, kids’ food packaging, vodka, and water bottles. The agency also found some disinfecting products with different food flavors.
The agency also stated that a consumer bought a hand sanitizer thinking it is water due to the misleading packaging. They also reported a sanitization product available in snack packaging with cartoons to attract children.
Dr. Stephen Hahn, the FDA Commissioner said that the packaging of a sanitization product in food packaging is worrisome. The product usually consists of chemicals not suitable for consumption and might contain toxic chemicals. The consumers can accidentally ingest the product thinking it is a food product. Also, the food scent and flavors can lead to alcohol poisoning in children due to consumption.
Hahn also said that the companies should take care of the marketing and packaging of these sanitizers. Also, the agency will take action against these products in misleading food or beverage packaging. Hand sanitizers usually consist of toxic chemicals and they can be deadly to children.
FDA also warned health professionals and consumers to avoid hand sanitizers with methanol. Such products are not safe to use due to the presence of methanol. Many people ingested the sanitizers during the pandemic thinking it will prevent the infection. This often resulted in severe outcomes.
Previously, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported cases of sickness and even deaths due to the consumption of methanol containing hand sanitizers. According to the CDC, 4 individuals died due to consumption of the toxic product. Some people also suffered from seizures and impaired vision after swallowing the product.
The CDC also warned the consumers that even though the sanitizers help fight the coronavirus, these are not safe for consumption. Sanitizers containing alcohol are particularly toxic and they can cause severe issues upon ingestion.
The FDA also issued a warning against the import of these products to avoid their distribution in the US. The agency is also actively working to spot any companies producing sanitizers with food packaging. This packaging is being used widely to attract customers and make the product attractive to them.
Even though this marketing tactic is working, it is not safe to sell a potentially toxic substance in edible product packaging. The FDA warned the consumers to be aware of such products after reports of ingestion of hand sanitizers came forward.