Federal health officials are asking consumers to avoid another brand of hand sanitizers that may be contaminated with cancer-causing chemicals.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced Monday that it found “unacceptable levels of benzene, acetaldehyde and acetal contaminants” in certain artnaturals scent-free hand sanitizers. The sanitizers are labeled with “DIST. by artnaturals Gardena, CA 90248,” according to the FDA.
The agency said, “The exact risk from using hand sanitizer containing benzene, acetaldehyde, or acetal is unknown. However, benzene is a chemical that can cause certain types of cancer in humans. Likewise, studies show that acetaldehyde may also cause cancer in consumers and could led to “serious illness or death.”
Additionally, acetal can cause irritation in the upper respiratory tract, the eyes and the skin.
The FDA said that it made “multiple attempts” to reach out to artnaturals regarding the sanitizers, “including identification of the manufacturer, possible recalls, and the scope of the contamination” but didn’t hear back as of Monday.
As a result, the FDA is imploring consumers not to use the artnaturals hand sanitizer products, which have been added to its rolling list of potentially dangerous hand sanitizers.
The agency began the list, which is now comprised of 260 products, in the early days of the pandemic after observing an increasing number of sanitizers testing positive for the harmful and potentially poisonous ingredients.
However, the agency was specifically noticing a sharp increase in products that tested positive for methanol contamination which is another unacceptable “ingredient for hand sanitizers and must not be used due to its toxic effects.”
Any product on the list should be disposed of “immediately,” according to the FDA.