The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an import alert on alcohol-based hand sanitizers from Mexico amid serious safety concerns.
"As part of their entry review, FDA staff will consider any specific evidence offered by importers or manufacturers that the hand sanitizers were manufactured according to U.S. current good manufacturing practice requirements."
The FDA announced the import alert after an analysis on hand sanitizers from Mexico concluded 84 percent of samples analyzed by the agency from April Through December weren't in compliance with the agency's regulations.
"More than half of the samples were found to contain toxic ingredients, including methanol and/or 1-propanol, at dangerous levels," the FDA stated.
The agency added that in many cases, methanol did not appear as an ingredient on the products' label, even though samples showed the product containing the toxic ingredient.
Being exposed to methanol-contaminated hand sanitizer can lead to a variety of adverse health effects like nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system, or death, FDA officials wrote in the statement.
People who use methanol-contaminated products on their hands are already at risk for poisoning, the agency said, stressing that people, especially young children, who might ingest these products accidentally, or adults who drink these products as an alcohol substitute are at most risk.
"The availability of poor-quality products with dangerous and unacceptable ingredients will not be tolerated," FDA Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs Judy McMeekin said.