The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently heightened measures to prevent toxic methanol-containing hand sanitizers from reaching the U.S. by initiating an import alert. Previous moves included issuing warning letters to offending companies; expanding the growing list of red-flagged products (148 entries and counting, at press); and cautioning consumers and health care professionals directly about affected products.
Why are these products slipping through the cracks? Perhaps because in order to speed product supply to the public in crisis, the FDA temporarily allowed the formulation of sanitizers by non-regulated firms so long as their products strictly adhere to approved formulas. But, according to the old adage, “no good deed goes unpunished,” some companies have strayed from the approved formulae (knowingly or not), which has put the public’s health at risk.
In this video interview, Cosmetics & Toiletries asked September 2020 authors Bob Lochhead, Ph.D., and Margaret Lochhead, Ph.D., who write on hand hygiene and health, to weigh in on this temporary allowance and discuss why formulators shouldn’t take liberties.