The Food and Drug Administration in the United States has expanded its already-existing list of potentially toxic hand sanitizers and has reiterated its warning about store-bought hand sanitizers that may contain methanol, a potentially toxic form of alcohol used to create fuel and solvents.

According to a report, the FDA has expanded to 87 the number of hand sanitizer brands that contained methanol and has reiterated its warning on the dangers of using it in the manufacturing of hand sanitizers.

The FDA reports that there has been a surge in the number of companies that have been selling hand sanitizer products due to the heightened demand for sanitization when washing with soap and water is not readily an option. They also found that there companies that have been distributing sanitizer products with undeclared methanol, unapproved FDA claims, and improper manufacturing practices.

FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn said in a statement that consumers must be wary about using methanol-containing sanitizers as most consumers won't be able to detect this difference between methanol and ethanol. He urged consumers to immediately stop using all sanitizers that have added to the expanded list of toxic sanitizer brands.

The Commissioner said that they have been "extremely concerned" about the risks associated with these methanol-containing hand sanitizers and that they will not tolerate companies that will continue to produce, import and distribute the said products.

Based on reports, the FDA cited that at least four people in New Mexico have died from consuming hand sanitizer products driven by coronavirus fears. Ethanol contained in isopropyl alcohol is not as deadly as methanol but the FDA stated that drinking or eating products with these chemicals are highly unrecommended.

Among the effects of methanol exposure are nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system, or even death.

The FDA cited that in most cases, methanol is not readily listed on the product label or ingredients in some hand sanitizers and that some manufacturers are "recalling only certain -- but not all -- of their hand sanitizer products."

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A view shows the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland August 14, 2012. Picture taken August 14, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Reed

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