As if the year 2020 cannot get any worse, we now have people losing their lives by consuming hand sanitizer. Recent reports from Russia states that seven people have passed away by drinking hand sanitizer, after using up all the alcohol.
This tragedy occurred last Thursday, at a party held in Tomtor village in the Tattinsky district, which is located at Yakutia, Russia’s largest region. After running out of booze, these ‘party people’ really thought that its a good idea to ‘drink’’ hand sanitizer, which is 69% methanol.
Out of the nine partygoers, a woman aged 41 and two men aged 27 and 59 became the first victims. A medical excavation aircraft carried the rest to Yakutsk, which is the regional capital. Another three men, aged 28, 32, and 69, passed away on Friday. One more person lost his life on Saturday.
The remaining two victims are currently in a coma, fighting for their lives in the ICU.
The Russian government strictly warned its citizens to refrain from consuming sanitizer produced within the country. The authorities even opened a criminal investigation for this incident.
A similar incident from the United States precedent this, where three people passed away consuming hand sanitizer. The first case was reported in May, and the other two were reported in the following weeks. Not 0nly that, another person was permanently blinded. The state’s Department of Health stated that the cases were reported to the New Mexico Poison Control Center. As claimed by health officials, the cases related to alcoholism.
Kathy Kunkel, the Health Secretary of New Mexico at that time urged everyone to immediately seek medical care if they think they have consumed methanol-containing sanitizer. She also stated that an antidote to methanol poisoning is available, but the sooner someone seeks treatment, his/her chances of recovery will increase.
FDA has identified nearly 67 products containing methanol. It is urging the public to make sure that their sanitizer does not contain methanol. If it does, the FDA recommendation is to dispose of the sanitizer in hazardous waste containers. Letting methanol get into contact with groundwater is harmful. The report also states that severe methanol poisoning can result in permanent disability or death.