The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned consumers about alcohol-based hand sanitizers that are being packaged in containers that look like a food or drink, and that can putting consumers at risk of serious injury or death if ingested.
The agency has discovered that some hand sanitizers are being packaged in beer cans, baby food bags, water bottles, juice bottles and vodka bottles.
In addition, the FDA has found hand sanitizers that contain food flavors, such as chocolate or raspberry.
“I am increasingly concerned about hand sanitizers that are being packaged to look like consumer products , such as baby food and drinks. These products can confuse consumers and they may accidentally ingest a life-threatening product. It is dangerous to add food-flavored odors to hand sanitizers, which children may think smell like food, ingest it and become intoxicated by alcohol, "said FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn.
He added that" Manufacturers must be careful not to package and market their hand sanitizers in food or meal containers, to mitigate potential inadvertent use by consumers. The FDA will continue to monitor these products, and we will take appropriate measures, when necessary, to protect the health of Americans. ”
The FDA received a report that a consumer bought a bottle thinking it was drinking water, but, in fact, it was a hand sanitizer.
The agency also received a report from a retailer about a cartoon hand sanitizer marketed for children in a snack-like bag.
Drinking only a small amount of hand sanitizer Hand sanitizer is life threatening to a young child, who may be attracted to a pleasant smell or a brightly colored bottle of hand sanitizer.
A hand sanitizer can be toxic if ingested.
The FDA continues to observe a increase in the number of adverse events reported from ingestion of hand sanitizers, including effects on the heart, effects on the central nervous system, hospitalizations and death, reported primarily to poison control centers and state health departments.
For more information, consumers should refer to FDA guidelines regarding the safe use of hand sanitizers, as well as a question and answer sheet.