FDA: Don't drink hand sanitizers

FDA: Don't drink hand sanitizers
© Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asked hand sanitizer manufacturers to take extra steps to ensure their products aren’t consumed internally. 

“It is important that hand sanitizer be manufactured in a way that makes them unpalatable to people, especially young children, and that they are appropriately labeled to discourage accidental or intentional ingestion,” FDA Commissioner Stephen HahnStephen HahnRedfield says Azar pressured him to revise COVID-19 data reports The Hill's 12:30 Report - Biden's first official trip as president The Hill's Morning Report - With trial over, Biden renews push for COVID-19 bill MORE said in a statement Monday.

The agency suggested adding denatured alcohol to hand sanitizers. This would produce a bitter taste, making the substance less appealing for consumption. 


The advisory comes after President TrumpDonald TrumpUS gives examples of possible sanctions relief to Iran GOP lawmaker demands review over FBI saying baseball shooting was 'suicide by cop' House passes bill aimed at stopping future Trump travel ban MORE has faced days of backlash for discussing the possibility of using ultraviolet light or injecting disinfectants as possible treatments or cures for the coronavirus at a White House briefing Thursday. Trump later walked back the comments, claiming his suggestions were sarcastic. 

State and local health departments reported getting an influx in emergency calls regarding possible poisonings after disinfectant ingestion following the president's remarks. Reckitt Benckiser, the company that produces Lysol, also issued a statement warning against the ingestion of their products.

“Additionally, hand sanitizers are not proven to treat COVID-19, and like other products meant for external use, are not for ingestion, inhalation, or intravenous use,” Hahn said. 

According to the FDA, calls to the National Poison Data System last month related to hand sanitizer increased by 79 percent compared to March 2019, most of them from unintentional exposure in children aged 5 and younger.

Earlier this month the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report that showed calls to poison control centers about exposures to cleaners and disinfectants increased 20 percent in the first three months of this year compared to the same period in 2019.

That report was published before Trump publicly speculated about the effects of consuming disinfectants.