Toxic methanol found in some sanitisers can cause blindness

Mumbai: Nearly 50 per cent of the 122 sanitizer samples tested are adulterated, a scientific study by the Consumer Guidance Society of India—the country’s oldest consumer body— found. Out of them, at least four per cent of them contained toxic methanol, which has serious side-effects like damaging the optic nerve, causing blindness among others.

The study

The study, conducted in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Thane areas in Maharashtra, tested 122 samples sold in the market and tested the alcohol contents as per claims made on the respective products. “Due to the public health emergency posed by COVID-19, many unscrupulous manufacturers have entered this business to make quick money and take advantage of the scary pandemic situation,” the report read.

The report showed that 37 per cent of the samples sold do not match their label specifications, 10 per cent of them are sold without any claims and one of the samples was ineffective against COVID-19.

The report also says, “Consumers should ensure that they follow the warning prescriptions mentioned on the label. The drug facts label should mention details of the ingredients in the product under sale. All over-the-counter drugs must list the date of manufacture and expiry confirming its stability and safety for use.”

It also specifically states that there is no scientific evidence that antimicrobial wash products, i.e. sanitizers, are more effective than plain soap and water.