Separately in the U.S. on Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a report warning of serious adverse events, including death, associated with ingesting alcohol-based hand sanitizers containing methanol.
From May 1 through June 30, 15 cases of methanol poisoning were reported in Arizona and New Mexico, associated with swallowing alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Four patients died, and three were discharged with visual impairment.
Health Canada says frequent use of hand sanitizer containing methanol may cause dermatitis, eye irritation, upper respiratory system irritation and headaches.
The interim policy applies to the following types of products imported from the United States only:
- cleaning products used mainly to clean, bleach or scour surfaces (but not products used to polish, protect or improve the appearance of surfaces)
- laundry and dishwashing products used mainly to clean (but not fabric softeners or other such products)
These products may be sold to Canadian work places with U.S. labelling and safety data sheets (SDS). Important information will still be present, but the product labelling and SDS may appear different.