During the pandemic, many drinks producers switched up their manufacturing lines and began cranking out hand sanitizer. However, that doesn’t mean that consumers should drink hand sanitizer. (#SpoilerAlert: You should never drink sanitizer.) After a recent spate of deaths and injuries attributed to sanitizer-drinking, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) just issued a new a report on the ill effects of sanitizer consumption accompanied by warning against drinking the stuff.
The CDC pointed to a sampling of cases from in Arizona and New Mexico between May 1 through June 30, 2020. That group included 62 calls to poison centers about sanitizer ingestion. Of that group, 15 individuals, ages 21 to 65-years-old were hospitalized. Four of the patients died, six had severe seizures while hospitalized, three were discharged with permanent blindness.
The stats were released to drive home a point about methanol. “Alcohol-based hand sanitizers should only contain ethanol or isopropanol, but some products imported into the United States have been found to contain methanol,” stated the CDC report.
The study attributed the previously mentioned cases to methanol. In addition, the agency updated their rolling list of hazardous methanol-based sanitizers to include over 100 products.
“We wanted to specifically look at adverse events related to methanol because it is known to be toxic and potentially life-threatening when ingested,” a CDC spokesperson told CNN.
Given the data, the CDC felt compelled to issue another warning. In short, don’t drink hand sanitizer!
“Alcohol-based hand sanitizer products should never be ingested. In patients with compatible signs and symptoms or after having swallowed hand sanitizer, prompt evaluation for methanol poisoning is required,” the communiqué declared. “Health departments in all states should coordinate with poison centers to identify cases of methanol poisoning.”
Of course, this is not the first time that the CDC felt compelled to state this particularly obvious piece of advice. After President Trump suggested that injecting disinfectant might cure COVID, the CDC told Americans, ”Household cleaners and disinfectants can cause health problems when not used properly. Follow the instructions on the product label to ensure safe and effective use.”