Rest assured, we are Methanol-Free, and no Drivergent hand sanitizer or any of our other products contain Methanol.
While the news stories are helpful in getting the word out, they are not completely explaining the situation, leaving consumers with questions and doubts if other hand sanitizers – including ours – are still safe? This article is aimed at helping answer the questions consumers may have, and reassuring you our products are compliant and safe!
Methanol is another nondrinking type of alcohol (also known as wood alcohol and methyl alcohol) which is mostly used to create fuel, solvents and antifreeze. A colorless liquid, it smells, feels and evaporates like ethanol or isopropryl. However, when absorbed through the skin, it can be poisonous for humans.
When metabolized by the human body, methanol makes formic acid and formaldehyde, both of which attack the nervous system. The optic nerve is the first line of defense to fall, and a victim of methanol poisoning will often begin to experience “snowy” vision and potentially permanent blindness. In fact, this is the origin of the term “blind drunk.” One of the biggest dangers with hand sanitizer containing methanol, is you don’t know how much is being absorbed into the body, so continued use of these products can lead to methanol poisoning.
So why is Methanol ending up in some hand sanitizers?
Methanol should NOT be used in hand sanitizers, but during supply shortages due to the pandemic, some manufacturers chose to substitute methanol for the approved ethyl or isopropryl alcohols.
However, these manufacturers did NOT change their drug fact product labeling. Their product labels showed they were using either ethyl or isopropryl alcohols, when they were not. So not only were consumers potentially at risk – they would have no way of knowing.
This is what led to the FDA investigating concerns and through testing found a number of products on the market with this problem and issued recalls.
So how can I ensure my product is safe?
Understand where your product is manufactured and by whom. Of the 115 (at time of writing) hand sanitizing products that the FDA has recalled, all but 3 were made in Mexico. In fact, those three non-Mexican recalls were NOT because of direct methanol usage. This shows that the issue is not a significant problem with products manufactured correctly within the United States.
You can view the current FDA updates on hand sanitizer consumers should not use HERE.
You can research a hand sanitizer manufacturer and ensure they are registered with the FDA. Anyone manufacturing hand sanitizer in the United States – even if its temporarily during the pandemic – MUST be registered with the FDA. A manufacturer must have their facility and product registered with the FDA.
You can search the FDA manufacturer facility database HERE.
To find Drivergent’s FDA facility registration: type in the Drivergent Firm name.
You can search the FDA manufacturer product drug database HERE.
To find Drivergent’s FDA product registration:
- Select Finished Products
- Select Type – Labeler
- Type in Drivergent
Ask the manufacturer details about how their product is made and what it contains – most notably about its primary active ingredient – the alcohol.
For example, Drivergent uses a Specially Denatured Alcohol (SDA) type 40B 190 proof. This is a version of ethyl (ethanol) alcohol that is denatured – meaning modified to be undrinkable – that is approved for use in hand sanitizers. We receive our alcohol from experienced and approved chemical manufacturers here in the United States. In order to legally purchase and use this product, we had to receive a permit from the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB).
Here at Drivergent, we take the safety of our products and the consumers who use them extremely seriously. Our employees and their families also use our products, and we take every precautionary step to ensure our products are compliant and safe to use. You can learn more about our company and products HERE on our FAQ’s page.