The FDA is once again warning consumers about the danger of ingesting hand sanitizer.

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

SILVER SPRING, Md. (KDKA) – With the increase in demand for hand sanitizer during the coronavirus pandemic, several new types and brands have sprung up.

One trend is hand sanitizer packaged in food and drink containers. This includes beer cans, food pouches, water bottles, juice bottles, and liquor bottles.

These products also tend to contain food “flavors” including chocolate or raspberry.

However, the FDA is warning consumers about the dangers of ingesting alcohol-based hand sanitizers that would put the consumer at risk of serious injury or death.

“I am increasingly concerned about hand sanitizer being packaged to appear to be consumable products, such as baby food or beverages. These products could confuse consumers into accidentally ingesting a potentially deadly product. It’s dangerous to add scents with food flavors to hand sanitizers which children could think smells like food, eat and get alcohol poisoning,” said FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D. “Manufacturers should be vigilant about packaging and marketing their hand sanitizers in food or drink packages in an effort to mitigate any potential inadvertent use by consumers. The FDA continues to monitor these products and we’ll take appropriate actions as needed to protect the health of Americans.”

Hand sanitizer can be toxic if ingested. The FDA says they’ve seen an increase in the number of adverse events with hand sanitizer ingestion and those include cardiac effects, effects on the central nervous system, hospitalizations, and even death.

An O’Hara based company here in Pittsburgh is one of the companies that has changed its business to produce hand sanitizer.

Guidelines on the safe use of hand sanitizer can be found on the FDA website.