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In the Age of Hand Sanitizer, Many Brands are Found to be Unsafe

July 30, 2020

By Van Der Veen, Hartshorn, and Levin

Cleanliness has been a key term since the coronavirus pandemic broke out earlier this year in the country. Suddenly, people were placing a focus on hygiene like never before. People washed their hands more than ever before, and started carrying hand sanitizer around with them when hand washing was not always possible. It was all in an effort to ensure people did not contract the virus. Now it turns out, the very hand sanitizer people have been using to keep themselves safe may be the very thing that will hurt them in the long run.

Potentially Dangerous Hand Sanitizers

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently released a list of 59 hand sanitizers that have been found to be unsafe. The risk these hand sanitizers pose is that they may contain methanol, or were made in a facility that had confirmed methanol contaminations.

According to the FDA, methanol has many toxic effects and is not an appropriate active ingredient in hand sanitizers. After the hand sanitizer containing methanol is applied, it is then absorbed by the skin and can result in many different symptoms. Exposure to methanol can cause headaches, vomiting, nausea, blurred vision or even permanent blindness, coma, seizures, permanent damage to the nervous system, and even death.

Compensation Available in Defective Hand Sanitizer Cases

Manufacturers are responsible for ensuring their products are safe for consumers to use in the manner intended, and that includes hand sanitizers. When manufacturers create products that hurt consumers, injured individuals can hold them liable.

In Pennsylvania, manufacturers that create products that are defective and injure someone are held strictly liable, meaning the injured party does not have to prove the manufacturer was negligent. Although this can make a case easier to prove, there are still challenges when going up big manufacturers and their insurance companies. A personal injury lawyer can help anyone hurt by hand sanitizer claim compensation for:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost income
  • Loss of future earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress

How to Keep Yourself Safe

Learning that there are at least 59 hand sanitizers on the market that may be unsafe, particularly at a time when demand is at an all-time high, is especially concerning for consumers. The most important ways to keep yourself safe are as follows:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds whenever possible.
  • When it is not possible to wash your hands, use hand sanitizer, particularly after touching high-contact areas.
  • Use only hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Read the label of hand sanitizer before using to ensure it does not contain methanol.

Were You Injured? Our Pennsylvania Product Liability Lawyers can Help

Consumers always rely on manufacturers, particularly during this difficult time, making it even more devastating when certain products cause injuries. If you have been injured by defective hand sanitizer, our Allentown product liability lawyers at van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim can help. We know how to hold manufacturers liable and will take on their insurance companies to recover the settlement you deserve. Call us today at (215) 486-0123 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys.



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