At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there were many questions about how best the public should protect itself. Among the recommendations were more frequent hand washing and hand sanitizing. Since then, there’s been a new Delta variant causing new surges, and yet there are some dangers consumers should be aware of when using hand sanitizers to guard against COVID-19 and its variants. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has built a fairly long list of recalled hand sanitizers. At last look, there are 255 different recalled hand sanitizers listed. Chicago consumers should stay aware of the potential harm of these products.
According to the FDA, around nine hand sanitizers produced in Mexico contained high levels of methanol. Methanol is produced from vegetation, microbes and volcanic gases. It’s often used as a solvent in various pharmaceuticals and as an industrial solvent for dyes, adhesives, resins, and inks. Importantly, consumers should be aware it is a chemical that may have detrimental effects whether exposure is short-term or long-term.
Symptoms of toxic exposure to methanol include vomiting, nausea, headache, permanent blindness, coma, seizures, permanent nervous system damage or death. If you were exposed to hand sanitizer that has methanol in it, you should get treated immediately.
It’s also important to be aware that there are other issues that may come up with hand sanitizer. For instance, the FDA has warned consumers not to use Durisan Antimicrobial Solutions Hand Sanitizer. This hand sanitizer was made by Sanit Technologies LLC and recalled voluntarily because of microbial contamination in March 2021. The recall was expanded on April 16, 2021. Those with compromised immune systems are at particular risk for harm arising out of microbial contamination. Infection can be the result of using contaminated hand sanitizer by health care professionals that tend to at-risk patients, such as those with cystic fibrosis. The result can be localized infections along with bloodstream or lung infections that could result in patient hospitalization.
Products can be defective in three ways under the law: marketing, manufacturing or design. Marketing defects usually involve a failure to warn of dangers. Manufacturing defects tend to be found only in one batch of hand sanitizer or another product. Design defects are flaws in how the product has been formulated; they exist in every item in a line. For instance, when hand sanitizer is formulated to include a toxic chemical, there may be a design defect.
When you’re harmed by a defective product, such as toxic hand sanitizer, you may be able to recover damages by bringing a product liability lawsuit. Each state has its own rules about which theories should be asserted in a product liability lawsuit. Often, it’s possible to bring a lawsuit under a theory of strict liability, in addition to negligence. In a lawsuit pursued under a theory of strict liability, our lawyers would need to show that: (1) the hand sanitizer had a defect and (2) the defect caused your injuries. We would not need to go the extra step of establishing that the manufacturer’s conduct with regard to the product fell below the standard of care.
If you believe you suffered toxic exposures due to a recalled hand sanitizer, it’s important to talk to an experienced attorney about your situation. At the Moll Law Group, billions have been recovered in cases in which we’ve been involved. Our Chicago-based lawyers may be able to represent you in a product liability lawsuit if you were harmed by hand sanitizer. Call us at (312) 462-1700 or contact us through our website for a free consultation.