The FDA says the California company has not responded to multiple attempts to discuss the contamination.
If you own a bottle of Artnaturals fragrance-free hand sanitizer, federal health officials want you to stop using it immediately and throw it in a hazardous waste container, not the trash, down the drain. or in the toilet.
US Food and Drug Administration tests have found “unacceptable levels” of certain carcinogenic chemicals, including benzene, acetaldehyde and acetal contaminants in some bottles, according to a warning issued Oct. 4.
The Artnaturals product was added to a list of 260 other hand sanitizer brands contaminated with harmful chemicals that the FDA urges people not to use. Sanitizers can be purchased at several stores, including Walmart, Publix, and Amazon.
The California-based company did not respond to “multiple attempts by the FDA to discuss contaminated hand sanitizers, including identification of the manufacturer, possible recalls and the extent of the contamination.”
The FDA says the risk of using these hand sanitizers is unknown, but research shows the chemicals they contain are known to cause cancer.
Benzene is among the 20 most used chemicals in the United States, commonly found in plastics, lubricants, rubbers, detergents, and pesticides. Studies in animals and humans show that benzene can cause cancer, especially those in the blood.
Acetaldehyde can be found in perfumes, dyes, rubber, and alcohol, among other products. Short-term exposure can irritate the eyes, skin and respiratory tract, but it can cause serious illness or long-term death. Animal studies suggest that acetaldehyde can cause cancer in humans.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends using hand sanitizers that contain at least 60% alcohol.
The FDA encourages people to report side effects from hand sanitizers to its MedWatch adverse event reporting program.
In April, the FDA recalled eight lots of hand sanitizers made by Scentsational Soaps & Candles that were sold in select Marshalls, TJ Maxx and Ulta Beauty stores, the Miami Herald reported. The products contained methanol, benzene and acetaldehyde.
The FDA has stated that methanol is “toxic” when rubbed on your skin, but is more damaging when ingested.