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Food and Drug Administration recalls: The dangers of methanol

Like nearly everyone else across the country, Ohio residents are trying to remain safe in these uncertain times. One way is to use hand sanitizer, but recently, the Food and Drug Administration issued warnings and now reports recalls of numerous products due to the presence of methanol, or wood alcohol. Some people may wonder why this is so dangerous.

The easy answer is that methanol is hazardous due to the fact that it is toxic to animals and humans, and is highly flammable. That could apply to all alcohols, but ethanol and isopropyl alcohols do not undergo the same conversion process in the body, which makes them safer. Once inside the body, it turns to formaldehyde, which the liver turns into formic acid. As it circulates through the body, it can cause blindness, damage to the optic nerve, brain damage and death.

It only takes a small amount of methanol to produce toxic results in the human body. Make no mistake, this toxic substance can be absorbed through the skin in high enough levels to cause illness. Suffering from methanol toxicity is potentially a life-threatening situation. Anyone exhibiting symptoms should seek medical attention right away.

Even as the Food and Drug Administration continues to announce recalls of hand sanitizers containing dangerous levels of methanol, people continue to be at risk, perhaps including many here in Ohio. It would be beneficial to make sure that the products used by individuals are not subject to a recall for this issue. Individuals who end up ill due to one of these products may have the opportunity to seek restitution for the harm done.

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