Two deaths linked to ingestion of hand sanitizer containing methanol

Starting date:
October 24, 2013
Posting date:
October 24, 2013
Type of communication:
Information Update
Subcategory:
Natural health products
Source of recall:
Health Canada
Issue:
Undeclared Substance
Audience:
General Public
Identification number:
RA-36469

Issue

Health Canada is working with the Office of the Chief Coroner for Ontario regarding two deaths associated with the ingestion of “Bodico Hand Sanitizer”.

Health Canada would like to remind consumers that the labels of hand sanitizers advise external use only and as such, the product should never be ingested. Testing undertaken by Ontario’s Centre of Forensic Sciences of two bottles of “Bodico Hand Sanitizer” associated with the deaths found the product contained methanol, an undeclared ingredient, and not ethyl alcohol, the active ingredient listed for the product. Methanol is a highly toxic alcohol that, if ingested, can cause blindness or death. High amounts of methanol applied to the skin can cause irritation and inflammation.

Health Canada is working with the company that makes “Bodico Hand Sanitizer” and is in the process of independently testing additional samples of the product. Initial results have identified the presence of methanol, an undeclared ingredient, in the following products: Bodico Hand Sanitizer (8fl oz, Lot B9002) and Bodico Hand Sanitizer with Aloe and Vitamin E (8fl oz, Lot B9001).

Health Canada is working with the company to implement a recall of these products.

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