SILVER SPRING, Md. (KFOR) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning people against using certain hand sanitizers after finding high levels of potentially cancer-causing chemicals.
According to an alert issued Monday, the FDA said it found unacceptable levels of benzene, acetaldehyde and acetal contaminants in certain artnaturals brand scent-free hand sanitizer labeled with “DIST. by artnaturals Gardena, CA 90248.”
“To date, artnaturals has not responded to multiple FDA attempts to discuss the contaminated hand sanitizers, including identification of the manufacturer, possible recalls, and the scope of the contamination,” said a memo from the FDA. “Therefore, as of October 4, FDA is urging consumers not to use any artnaturals hand sanitizers.”
FDA officials say benzene may cause certain types of cancer in humans. Animal studies show acetaldehyde may cause cancer in humans and may cause serious illness or death. Acetal can irritate the upper respiratory tract, eyes, and skin.
“While the exact risk from using hand sanitizer containing benzene, acetaldehyde, or acetal is unknown, FDA recommends consumers do not use products contaminated with unacceptable levels of benzene, acetaldehyde, or acetal,” the FDA said.
Consumers who have products on this list of hand sanitizers should immediately stop using the product and dispose of it, ideally in a hazardous waste container. Do not pour these products down the drain or flush them. Contact your local waste management and recycling center for more information on hazardous waste disposal.
According to the FDA, you should use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% ethanol (also referred to as ethyl alcohol).