INDIANA – An Indiana mother has filed a lawsuit against a recalled hand sanitizer distributor claiming her children suffered severe side effects, including headaches and vomiting.
According to a news report filed by the Associated Press, the lawsuit was filed earlier this month in St. Joseph County, is seeking penalties, and class action status.
The lawsuit names 4e Brands North America, a Texas-based distributor of Blumen hand sanitizer, which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said contains toxic methanol earlier this year.
The company issued a voluntary recall in July.
As of Aug. 31, the FDA website lists 171 contaminated hand sanitizers, most of which contain potential methanol or propanol contamination. According to their report on July 20, the “agency has seen a sharp increase” in products labeled to contain ethanol, but have tested positive for methanol contamination.
“Methanol, or wood alcohol, is a substance that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested and can be life-threatening when ingested,” the FDA said. “The agency is aware of adults and children ingesting hand sanitizer products contaminated with methanol that has led to recent adverse events including blindness, hospitalizations and death.”
Methanol is often used to create fuel and antifreeze. Since the agency began reporting on the contaminations in June, at least one death has been reported in association with tainted hand sanitizer.
But while some companies are looking to cut corners, others are looking to the FDA when formulating their sanitizers. One veteran-owned small business, which produces a 75% isopropyl alcohol-based sanitizer in Indianapolis, IN., recently encouraged consumers to remain vigilant during the COVID-19 crisis.
“While we know our USA made sanitizer is safe, that’s not the case with all products on the market currently,” SaniGo Business Development Manager Jordan Mendenhall said. “If you can’t find SaniGo, we would hope that any consumer would do their research before trying a new hand-rub. In this case, an ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure.”
The FDA’s investigation of methanol and other contaminates in hand sanitizers is ongoing. The agency will provide additional information as it becomes available. The full list of recalled hand sanitizer can be found here.
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