NEW YORK (AP) — Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can help stop the coronavirus from spreading, but drinking the products turned out to be deadly for four people in two states. Health officials reported this week that 15 adults were poisoned in Arizona and New Mexico in May and June after drinking hand sanitizer.
Besides the four who died, three had ongoing vision problems. All had consumed hand sanitizers containing methanol, or wood alcohol. The active ingredient that kills germs in legitimate sanitizers is ethyl alcohol, which is consumable.
But some companies have been replacing it with poisonous methanol, which is used in antifreeze.