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Hand sanitizer, aloe gel recalled over warnings it could cause comas or blindness

Several lots of hand sanitizer and aloe gel are being recalled for containing methanol, which can put consumers at risk for serious health issues, according to federal health officials.

The recall affects 40 lots of Aruba Aloe Hand Sanitizer Gel Alcohol 80% and Aruba Aloe Alcoholada Gel, which contains “alcohol denatured with methanol,” according to a notice posted by The Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

The FDA warned in the recent recall that “substantial methanol exposure” can cause nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, coma, seizures, permanent blindness, as well as permanent damage to the central nervous system, or death. 

Customers are being told to stop using the products and to discard them. 

FLORIDA COMPANY RECALLS HAND SANITIZER DUE TO BENZENE

Aruba Aloe Balm N.V.’s affected hand sanitizer gel is packaged in 12 fl oz dark green plastic bottles and has white labels reading in part “ARUBA ALOE Hand Sanitizer GEL 80% Alcohol Made in Aruba World’s Finest Aloe.” 

Hand sanitizer and aloe gel recalled

Aruba, Aruba Aloe Balm N.V. is voluntarily recalling 40 lots of Aruba Aloe Hand Sanitizer Gel Alcohol 80% and Aruba Aloe Alcoholada Gel to the consumer level. (FDA)

The Aruba Aloe Alcoholada Gel, which is used for temporary relief of pain and itching associated with minor burns, sunburn, insect bites, or minor skin irritations, is packaged in two sizes: 2.2 fl oz plastic bottles and 8.5 fl oz plastic bottles. The bottles are transparent with labels that read in part “Alcoholada Gel Pain Relieving Gel 0.5% Lidocaine Hydrochloride.” 

DISNEY HAND SANITIZERS RECALLED DUE TO BENZENE AND METHANOL PRESENCE

During the pandemic, the FDA created a list of over 600 potentially dangerous hand sanitizers after discovering an uptick in the number of sanitizers that had been made with methanol rather than the approved ethyl alcohol. Methanol is commonly used in industrial settings, but it is not safe for use on the skin. It is also dangerous if it’s ingested. 

hand sanitizer

A person using hand sanitizer. (iStock / iStock)

“Although all persons using these products on their hands are at risk, young children who accidently ingest these products and adolescents and adults who drink these products as an alcohol (ethanol) substitute are most at risk for methanol poisoning,” the notice continued.  

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Aruba Aloe Balm N.V. has not gotten any reports of adverse events related to these products, according to the notice. 

Hand Sanitizer

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the FDA created a list of over 600 potentially dangerous hand sanitizers. (iStock / iStock)

The affected products were distributed between May 1, 2021, and Oct. 7, 2023 and sold in the United States online through Aruba Aloe Balm N.V.’s website.

The company notified customers who are impacted by the recall and offered a discount coupon for their next purchase. 

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