During the coronavirus pandemic, calls to poison control centers related to sanitizer have risen
Among the products Americans are having a hard time purchasing during the coronavirus pandemic, hand sanitizer tops the list: Seventy-four percent of people say they have been unable to track it down, according to a new nationally representative survey from Consumer Reports of 2,164 adults.
In response to that shortage, the Food and Drug Administration last month made it easier for companies that don’t typically manufacture hand sanitizer to start making it. Alcohol distillers, in particular, responded to that need, with an estimated 700 of them shifting some production to hand sanitizer, trade groups say. That makes sense because alcohol is the main ingredient of hand sanitizer and, say, gin or vodka.
While the FDA has praised the industry for responding so enthusiastically to the problem, last week the agency also issued cautions about some of the products companies are now producing that don’t adhere to manufacturing standards. Not all manufacturers are using the required denatured alcohol, which tastes terrible compared with regular alcohol. As a result, some people are drinking distillery-produced sanitizer, whether intentionally or by accident.
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