Banner Poison Center in Phoenix sees spike in hand sanitizer incidents
PHOENIX — As the amount of hand sanitizer in people’s homes increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, so did hand sanitizer-related poisoning accidents.
Banner Health’s Poison and Drug Information Center in Phoenix witnessed a 140% spike in hand sanitizer incidents last year, with most, such as ingestion, being preventable.
“Please be alert about the location of these products and keep them out of reach for small children,” Maureen Roland, managing director of the Banner Poison and Drug Information Center, said in a press release on Monday.
Poison centers across the nation saw a similar trend with increases in exposures to household cleaning products, chemicals and medications due to an added potential for poisoning accidents with most people working remotely and children taking online school amid the pandemic, according to the release.
Another major concern for medical experts is hand sanitizers that have been recalled by the Food and Drug Administration still being used or available in a community.
The FDA’s recall website currently lists 31 hand sanitizer products under a recall alert, with most being due to the presence of methanol.
“Methanol ingestion can result in blindness and organ failure. Even small amounts can be fatal without immediate treatment,” Dr. Daniel Brooks, medical director of the Banner Poison and Drug Information Center, said in the release.
Those who believe there has been an exposure to any poison, medication or chemical, are urged to call the poison center immediately at 1-800-222-1222.
The confidential hotline operates 24 hours a day and can help evaluate and manage the situation and determine if the person should seek medical attention.