FDA recalls hand sanitizers contaminated with toxic substance


PINE GROVE, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) Look twice before you buy more hand sanitizer. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has pulled 75 products for containing a toxic ingredient.

Since the pandemic began, hand sanitizers have been flying off the shelves. Polston and Company, a family owned nail polish company in Pine Grove, joined the production wave to help supply the demand.

Kristin Polston, from Polston and Company, says, “People are very interested in alcohol-based hand sanitizer to kill COVID and methanol is not going to achieve that for them.”

The FDA announced a recall on hand sanitizers that tested positive for methanol.

Jared Polston, from Polston and Company, tells us, “Ethanol was getting extremely difficult to find, and so it kind of doesn’t surprise me that companies would turn to methanol that’s readily available.”

Methanol is known as wood alcohol and is ineffective and dangerous.

Jared says, “It has to be alcohol, either isopropyl or ethanol. And that is the bottom line. Anything else has the active ingredient and it is not going to work.”

The substance can be toxic if inhaled, ingested or even absorbed through the skin.

“Also it doesn’t do a very good job at killing viruses so it’s totally an inappropriate way to use methanol,” says Kristin.

The Polstons recommend checking the ingredients before making purchases just to be safe.

The couple uses a gel-free formula so that their hand sanitizer is without any sticky residue.

No matter what hand sanitizer you do end up buying, the Polstons say the purer the product, the more effective it will kill germs. Adding anything such as essential oils will dilute the power of the hand sanitizer.

Polston and Company also say that hand sanitizer products that claim to be alcohol free will be ineffective.

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