Health Canada recalling over 50 hand sanitizers

More than 50 hand sanitizers “not acceptable for use” are being recalled by Health Canada.

The agency says the products may pose health risks, as they contain ethanol or denaturants that have not been approved for use in hand sanitizers in Canada.

Denaturants are added to ethanol to make it unfit for human consumption and to prevent people – particularly children – from unintentionally ingesting the products, according to Health Canada.

“Multiple types of unacceptable ethanol and denaturants have been found in hand sanitizer products,” reads a notice on the agency's website.

“Possible adverse reactions to the ingredients in these products may include dermatitis, such as skin irritation and cracking; eye irritation; upper respiratory system irritation; and headaches.”

Currently, the agency is recalling 51 hand sanitizers, which are listed online.

Canadians are advised to check the list regularly, to stop using the products listed and consult a healthcare professional if they have used the products and have any health concerns.

Health Canada also maintains a list of hand sanitizers approved for use in Canada.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Wednesday that people are getting sick and, in some cases, dying, after ingesting hand sanitizer.

The CDC says between May 1 to June 30, 15 cases of methanol poisoning were reported in Arizona and New Mexico, after people swallowed alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Four patients died, and three were discharged with “visual impairment.”

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