FDA Recalls Dozens of Toxic Hand Sanitizers
Hand sanitizers are everywhere these days — store counters, car cup holders and even belt loops — as people try to avoid coronavirus germs. The ubiquity of this hygiene staple is not without its problems though, and the concern keeps growing as the FDA recently recalled 77 hand sanitizers for containing dangerous levels of methanol, CBS News reported.
Many of the hand sanitizers that were recalled for containing methanol, or wood alcohol, are readily available at leading stores like Walmart and Target. While the products claim they contain ethanol, or ethyl alcohol, FDA testing showed that they actually contain methanol, which can lead to blindness and even death if ingested, according to The Washington Post.
As demand for hand sanitizers has skyrocketed, manufacturers have flooded the market, with some cutting corners as regulators struggle to keep up with the demand. The FDA keeps a running tally of the recalled products on its website, The Washington Post reported.
According to The Washington Post, the recalled products are manufactured by various companies in Mexico, and carried by BJ's Wholesale Club, Costco, Target and Walmart. The FDA included several types of Blumen brand hand sanitizer on the recall list and said an import alert was attached earlier this month to prevent them from entering the country.
Real Clean Distribuciones has recalled its Scent Theory Keep Clean and Keep It Clean, Born Basic, and Lux Eoi hand sanitizers, The Miami Herald found. It also reported that Target sold Born Basic Anti-Bac Hand Sanitizer, while Walmart sold Scent Theory at stores in 17 states.
The FDA also said that methanol can be toxic when it is rubbed into the skin, according to The Miami Herald.
"Unfortunately, there are some companies taking advantage of the increased usage of hand sanitizer during the coronavirus pandemic and putting lives at risk by selling products with dangerous and unacceptable ingredients," FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn said in early July, according to Forbes. "Consumers and health care providers should not use methanol-containing hand sanitizers," Hahn added.
Instead, consumers should immediately discard recalled hand sanitizers in hazardous waste containers. "Do not flush or pour these products down the drain," the agency told CBS News.
The FDA also advised Americans to be wary of products that claim to be "FDA-approved," since that designation does not exist for hand sanitizers. Additionally, the agency warned against bottles claiming to provide protection for "up to 24 hours," The Washington Post reported.
The following is the latest available list of potentially toxic hand sanitizers, according to the FDA:
- 4E Global's Blumen Clear Advanced Hand Sanitizer with 70% Alcohol
- 4E Global's Blumen Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer Clear Ethyl Alcohol 70%
- 4E Global's Blumen Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer Clear
- 4E Global's Klar and Danver Instant Hand Sanitizer (labeled with Greenbrier International Inc.)
- 4E Global's Modesa Instant Hand Sanitizer Moisturizers and Vitamin E
- 4E Global's Blumen Advanced Hand Sanitizer
- 4E Global's Blumen Advanced Hand Sanitizer Aloe
- 4E Global's Blumen Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer Lavender
- 4E Global's Blumen Clear Lear Advanced Hand Sanitizer
- 4E Global's Blumen Clear Advanced Hand Sanitizer
- 4E Global's The Honeykeeper Hand Sanitizer
- 4E Global's Blumen Advanced Hand Sanitizer Clear
- 4E Global's Blumen Clear Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer
- 4E Global's Blumen Clear Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer Aloe
- 4E Global's Blumen Clear Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer Lavender
- 4E Global's Blumen Aloe Advanced Hand Sanitizer, with 70% Alcohol
- 4E Global's Blumen Advanced Hand Sanitizer Lavender, with 70% alcohol
- 4E Global's Blumen Advanced Hand Sanitizer Aloe, with 70% alcohol
- 4E Global's Blumen Antibacterial Fresh Citrus Hand Sanitizer
- 4E Global's Blumen Hand Sanitizer Fresh Citrus
- 4E Global's Klar and Danver Instant Hand Sanitizer
- 4E Global's Hello Kitty by Sanrio Hand Sanitizer
- 4E Global's Assured Instant Hand Sanitizer (Vitamin E and Aloe)
- 4E Global's Assured Instant Hand Sanitizer (Aloe and Moisturizers)
- 4E Global's Assured Instant Hand Sanitizer Vitamin E and Aloe
- 4E Global's Assured Instant Hand Sanitizer Aloe and Moisturizers
- 4E Global's Blumen Instant Hand Sanitizer Fragrance Free
- 4E Global's Blumen Instant Hand Sanitizer Aloe Vera
- 4E Global's Assured Aloe
- AAA Cosmetica's bio aaa Advance Hand Sanitizer
- AAA Cosmetica's LumiSkin Advance Hand Sanitizer 4 oz
- AAA Cosmetica's LumiSkin Advance Hand Sanitizer 16 oz
- AAA Cosmetica's QualitaMed Hand Sanitizer
- DDI Multinacional's Earths Amenities Instant Unscented Hand Sanitizer with Aloe Vera Advanced
- DDI Multinacional's Hand Sanitizer Agavespa Skincare
- DDI Multinacional's Vidanos Easy Cleaning Rentals Hand Sanitizer Agavespa Skincare
- Eskbiochem's All-Clean Hand Sanitizer
- Eskbiochem's Esk Biochem Hand Sanitizer
- Eskbiochem's Lavar 70 Gel Hand Sanitizer
- Eskbiochem's The Good Gel Antibacterial Gel Hand Sanitizer
- Eskbiochem's CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol
- Eskbiochem's CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol
- Eskbiochem's CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol
- Eskbiochem's Saniderm Advanced Hand Sanitizer
- Grupo Insoma's Hand sanitizer Gel Unscented 70% Alcohol
- Limpo Quimicos' Andy's Best
- Limpo Quimicos' Andy's
- Limpo Quimicos' Gelclor
- Limpo Quimicos' NeoNatural
- Limpo Quimicos' Plus Advanced
- Liqesa Exportacion or Liq-E-S.A.'s Optimus Lubricants Instant Hand Sanitizer
- Maquiladora Miniara's Shine and Clean Hand Sanitizer
- Maquiladora Miniara's Selecto Hand Sanitizer
- Mystic International's Mystic Shield Protection hand sanitizer
- Soluciones Cosmeticas' Bersih Hand Sanitizer Gel Fragrance Free
- Soluciones Cosmeticas' Antiseptic Alcohol 70% Topical Solution hand sanitizer
- Soluciones Cosmeticas' Hand sanitizer (labeled with Wet Look Janitorial and Gardening Corp.)
- Tropicosmeticos' Britz Hand Sanitizer Ethyl Alcohol 70%
- Yara Elena De La Garza Perez Nieto's Daesi hand sanitizer
- Real Clean Distribuciones's Born Basic Anti-Bac Hand Sanitizer
- Real Clean Distribuciones's Anti-Bac Hand Sanitizer
- Real Clean Distribuciones's Scent Theory – Keep It Clean – Pure Clean Anti-bacterial Hand Sanitizer
- Real Clean Distribuciones's Cavalry
- Real Clean Distribuciones's ENLIVEN Hand Sanitizing Gel
- Real Clean Distribuciones's Lux Eoi Hand Sanitizing Gel
- Real Clean Distribuciones's Keep It Clean
- Real Clean Distribuciones's Hand Sanitizer
- MXL Comercial's Hand Sanitizer Disinfectant Gel 70% Ethyl Alcohol (labeled with Resource Recovery & Trading LLC)
- MXL Comercial's Hand Sanitizer Disinfectant Gel 70% Ethyl Alcohol Rinse Free Hand Rub (labeled with Resource Recovery & Trading LLC)
- ITECH 361's All Clean Hand Sanitizer, Moisturizer and Disinfectant
- Transliquid Technologies's Mystic Shield Protection hand sanitizer
- Saniderm Advanced Hand Sanitizer
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By Simon Montlake
For more than a decade, Susan Jane Brown has been battling to stop a natural gas pipeline and export terminal from being built in the backcountry of Oregon. As an attorney at the nonprofit Western Environmental Law Center, she has repeatedly argued that the project's environmental, social, and health costs are too high.
All that was before this month's deadly wildfires in Oregon shrouded the skies above her home office in Portland. "It puts a fine point on it. These fossil fuel projects are contributing to global climate change," she says.
Moderates Feeling the Heat<p>If elected, Mr. Biden has vowed to stop new drilling for oil and gas on federal land and in federal waters and to rejoin the 2015 Paris climate accord that President Donald Trump gave notice of quitting. He would reinstate Obama-era regulations of greenhouse gas emissions, including methane, the largest component of natural gas.</p><p>The Biden climate platform also states that all federal infrastructure investments and federal permits would need to be assessed for their climate impacts. Analysts say such a test could impede future LNG plants and pipelines, though not those that already have federal approval. </p><p>Climate change activists who pushed for that language say much depends on who would have oversight of federal agencies that regulate the industry. Some are wary of Biden's reliance on advice from Obama-era officials, including former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, who is now on the board of Southern Company, a utility, and a former Obama environmental aide, Heather Zichal, who has served on the board of Cheniere Energy, an LNG exporter. </p>
The Push for U.S. Fuel Exports<p>As vice president, Biden was part of an administration that pushed hard for global climate action while also promoting U.S. oil and gas exports to its allies and trading partners. As fracking boomed, Obama ended a 40-year ban on crude oil exports. In Europe, LNG was touted both as an alternative to coal and as strategic competition with Russian pipelines.</p><p>That much, at least, continued with President Trump. Under Energy Secretary Rick Perry, the agency referred to liquified U.S. hydrocarbons as "<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/29/us/freedom-gas-energy-department.html" target="_blank">freedom gas</a>."</p><p>Mr. Trump has also championed the interests of coal, oil, and gas while denigrating the findings of government climate scientists. He rejected the Paris accord as unfair to the U.S. and detrimental to its economy, but has offered no alternative path to emissions cuts. </p><p>Still, Trump's foreign policy has not always served the LNG industry: Tariffs on foreign steel drove up pipeline costs, and a trade war with China stayed the hand of Chinese LNG importers wary of reliance on U.S. suppliers. </p><p>Even his regulatory rollbacks could be a double-edged sword. By relaxing curbs last month on methane leaks, the U.S. has ceded ground to European regulators who are drafting emissions standards that LNG producers are watching closely. "That's a precursor of fights that will be fought in all the rest of the developed world," says Mr. Hutchison. </p><p>Indeed, some oil-and-gas exporters had urged the Trump administration not to abandon the tougher rules, since they undercut their claim to offer a cleaner-burning way of producing heat and electricity. "U.S. LNG is not going to be able to compete in a world that's focused on methane emissions and intensity," says Erin Blanton, a senior research scholar at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University. </p>
Stepping on the Gas<p>In July, the Department of Energy issued an export license to Jordan Cove's developer, Canada's Pembina Pipeline Corp. In a statement, Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette said the project would provide "reliable, affordable, and cleaner-burning natural gas to our allies around the world."</p><p>As a West Coast terminal, Jordan Cove offers a faster route to Asia where its capacity of 7.8 million tons of LNG a year could serve to heat more than 15 million homes. At its peak, its construction would also create 6,000 jobs, the company says, in a stagnant corner of Oregon.</p><p>But the project still lacks multiple local and state permits, and its biggest asset – a Pacific port – has become its biggest handicap, says Ms. Blanton. "They are putting infrastructure in a state where there's no political support for the pipeline or the terminal, unlike in Louisiana or Texas," she says. </p><p>Ms. Brown, the environmental lawyer, says she wants to see Jordan Cove buried, not just mothballed until natural gas prices recover. But she knows that it's only one among many LNG projects and that others will likely get built, even if Biden is elected in November, despite growing evidence of the harm caused by methane emissions. </p>
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