FDA Recalls Hand Sanitizer Due To Blindness, Coma Risks

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a recall of multiple lots of hand sanitizer and aloe gel due to their containing methanol, which may be highly toxic to consumers.

The federal agency warned that “substantial methanol exposure” may lead to death or permanent central nervous damage. Symptoms include permanent blindness, coma, seizures, nausea, vomiting, headaches and blurred vision.

The FDA recall affected 40 packages of Aruba Aloe Hand Sanitizers Gel Alcohol 80% and Aruba Aloe Alcoholada Gel.

Customers are advised to cease using and throw away these specific products. The hand sanitizer gel from Aruba is contained in 12-ounce dark green plastic bottles that are adorned with white labels.

The Aruba Aloe Alcoholada Gel is featured in two sizes. These include a 2.2 fl. oz. plastic bottle and 8.5 fl. oz. plastic bottle. The gel is marketed for use for relief from mild burns, sunburns and bug bites.

Three years ago the FDA cracked down on an expansive list of over 600 possibly hazardous hand sanitizers. This came during the height of the pandemic when the public was being urged to cleanse hands regularly to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

The widespread presence of dangerous methanol in these products alarmed health officials. Although anyone using these hand sanitizers was potentially at risk, the FDA warned that certain groups were in particular danger.

The notice read: “Although all persons using these products on their hands are at risk, young children who accidentally ingest these products and adolescents and adults who drink these products as an alcohol substitute are most at risk for methanol poisoning.”

The FDA notice said that Aruba Aloe Balm N.V. has not received reports of any individuals adversely affected by use of its products.

The specific items targeted by the agency were distributed between May 1, 2021 and Oct. 7, 2023. They were sold domestically through the Aruba website.

The company notified customers of the recall and offered a discount coupon toward the purchase of another of their products.