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Cok Kinzler PLLP

Could product liability claims come from hand sanitizer recalls?

During these uncertain times, many people have made using hand sanitizer a part of their daily routines. Of course, finding this product has been a challenge for many people here in Montana and across the country. When unknown brands began hitting the market, you may have been among those happy to see at least some products.

Since those products hit the market, it has become known that many contain methanol, which is a wood alcohol. As of July 11, the list of hand sanitizers the Food and Drug Administration says contain this toxic substance had grown to 59. Some are already the subject of recalls, but the investigation into other products continues.

Why is methanol so dangerous?

Methanol is toxic to humans. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, certain industries use this product as an alternative fuel source, a pesticide and an industrial solvent. At this point, you may be wondering why anyone would want to put this on his or her body and why a company would purposely put it into a product it knows numerous people will use.

Exposure to methanol can cause serious illness or death from methanol poisoning. Anyone exhibiting the symptoms below may want to seek medical attention right away:

  • Blurred vision
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures

Your exposure to methanol could also lead to a coma, permanent blindness and/or permanent nervous system damage. In some instances, it leads to death. Even though the CDC does recommend using hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol, it should be either ethanol or isopropyl alcohol. Otherwise, the prevailing advice is to wash your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.

What happens if you become ill from methanol poisoning?

If you purchased and used one of these tainted and toxic hand sanitizers, you should stop using it immediately. Perhaps you only found out about the issue with these products after you or a loved one received a diagnosis of methanol poisoning. Depending on the level of toxicity, you may endure lifelong repercussions of using a product you thought would help keep you safe.

Do you have any legal options regarding the pursuit of compensation for the harm done to you? In order to receive the answers to this and your other questions and concerns, you may want to discuss your situation with an experienced product liability attorney.

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