The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has again cautioned Nigerians against the use of hand sanitizers containing methanol.
The warning is contained in a public alert signed by the Director General of the agency, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, titled “Recall of Hand Sanitizers by DiBAR Nutricional due to the presence of Methanol(Wood alcohol)”.
According to Adeyeye, she said that the agency had received information from US Food and Drug Agency (FDA) about the presence of methanol in hand sanitizers.
She added that information from FDA noted that Nutricional S,de R,L De C.V (Dibar) is recalling all Dibar Labs hand sanitizers, ProtectoRX hand sanitizers and Advance hand sanitizers due to the presence of methanol.
According to her, methanol, or wood alcohol, is a substance that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested and can be life-threatening when ingested.
“Substantial methanol exposure can result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death.
“All persons using these products on their hands are at risk for methanol poisoning, young children who accidently ingest these products and adolescents and adults who drink these products as alcohol (ethanol) substitute, are most at risk.
“Methanol is not an acceptable ingredient for hand sanitizers and must not be used due to its toxicity,” she stressed.
Adeyeye therefore called on consumers, who have been exposed to hand sanitizer containing methanol and are experiencing symptoms, to seek immediate treatment for potential reversal of toxic effects of methanol poisoning.
According to her, the call is necessary at this time after the FDA analysis has found the product to contain methanol in lab testing.
Adeyeye stated that NAFDAC implores importers, distributors, retailers and consumers to exercise caution and vigilance to avoid the distribution, sale and use of methanol alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
She also called on healthcare providers and members of the public in possession of methanol alcohol-based hand sanitizers to discontinue sale and use or submit stock to the nearest NAFDAC office.
She said that healthcare professionals are encouraged to report any problem related to the use of any hand sanitizers to the nearest NAFDAC office, NAFDAC PRASCOR (20543 TOLL FREE from all networks).
According to her, Nigerians could also report any adverse effect through email@example.com or via e reporting platform available on NAFDAC websites www.nafdac.gov.ng as well as Med Safety application available for download on Android and IOS.