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Blue Ridge Poison Center warns of potentially toxic chemical in hand sanitizer

The center says its calls have nearly doubled since this time last year.

ROANOKE, Va – The Blue Ridge Poison Center at the University of Virginia Medical Center said its calls have nearly doubled because of potentially poisonous hand sanitizer.

The center serves 3 million people in Central and Southwest Virginia.

As the demand for hand sanitizer increases, the medical director of the poison center, Dr. Christopher Holstege, said potentially harmful chemicals, like Methanol, that if consumed, could cause permanent blindness, seizures, or permanent damage to the nervous system.

“Methanol we certainly don’t want to have on the skin, if I’m going to wash my hands we don’t want toxic alcohol on my skin, that’s not the biggest risk, the biggest risk still continues to be if people were to drink it,” said Holstege said.

The poison center said if you feel you may have potentially been exposed to Methanol to call the center for guidance.

The FDA has a full list of potentially harmful hand sanitizers on its website.

About the Author:

Annie Schroeder joined the 10 News team as a reporter in June 2020 and is no stranger to Southwest Virginia.