INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – We’ve been carrying hand sanitizers just about everywhere since the start of the pandemic. However, researchers discovered certain types of disinfectant gel may contain cancer-causing chemicals, making them more harmful than helpful. These chemicals include benzene and methanol among others.
News 8 spoke with Dr. Christopher Doehring, who explained how the carcinogens got into the batches in the first place.
“There was a huge ramp-up of making hand sanitizers when the pandemic first started,” he said. ” We were getting supplies from literally all over the world and hand sanitizers that are on the band list were coming from places like Mexico and China. They weren’t labeled to have some of these items in them, but were later found to contain benzene and methanol.”
Benzene is linked to leukemia. Methanol is found in cigarettes which are linked to lung cancer.
The FDA is urging consumers to stay away from hand sanitizers contaminated with these chemicals. When soap and water are not available, the CDC recommends using an alcohol-based sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol for optimal.