Consumers are being urged to be vigilant after hand sanitisers in the UK and the Republic of Ireland has been found to contain methanol, which poses a serious risk to anyone using it.
BBC News reports that 50 schools in the Republic of Ireland have been told to stop using 50 sanitising products, including hand sanitisers, wipes, detergents and hand soaps, supplied to schools by nine different companies, after skin problems, eye and respiratory irritation and headaches were reported.
The Irish Department of Education immediately ordered that the products were withdrawn and replaced. The products were supplied by Critical Healthcare, Workwear Experts, Reach Group, Charles Hughes Ltd, Shaw Scientific, JBS Group, Aquila Bioscience, Nugent Safety, and Lennox.
It comes a week after similar concerns in Northern Ireland with a hand sanitiser being used by the NHS supplied by Virapro, which was recalled after it was found to contain methanol, rather than ethanol.
In Oxford, Shield Hand Sanitiser Gel was also recently found to contain methanol and has been recalled by the manufacturer, Bristol-based Harlington Laboratories, who warned people to stop using the gel immediately, and keep it away from pets and children, reports the Oxford Mail.
Methanol is a type of non-drinking alcohol that is mostly used to create fuel, solvents and anti-freeze and is poisonous for human consumption, and can be toxic when absorbed through the skin.
It is still preferable to wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, according to government guidelines, but if soap and water are not available, then to use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser that contains at least 60 per cent ethanol.
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