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Several people have died after drinking hand sanitizer, CDC says

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Posted at 2:56 PM, Aug 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-06 15:56:26-04

People have suffered vision impairment and even died after they drank hand sanitizer, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.

In just two months this year in Arizona and New Mexico, there were 15 cases of methanol poisoning reported associated with swallowing alcohol-based hand sanitizers, the CDC said. Four people died and three were discharged with visual impairment.

More than 100 hand sanitizers contain methanol, according to the Food and Drug Administration. The agency has warned people not to use those products.

It's not just ingesting it that's potentially dangerous; methanol can also be toxic when absorbed through the skin, according to the FDA. Exposure can cause nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death.