A few months ago, finding hand sanitizer like these anywhere in the Treasure Valley felt like striking oil. Unfortunately, the products that we thought were helping us stay safe from spreading COVID-19 might actually be dangerous to our health. 

Earlier this week, the FDA announced that a Texas based company called 4e Brands North America is voluntarily recalling all of the hand sanitizer they distributed under the brand names Assured, Bluemen and Modesa. The recall applies to all sizes, UPC and lot numbers. According to the recall, there's a potential the products contain a wood alcohol called methanol.

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If you're exposed to enough methanol you may experience mild symptoms like nausea, vomiting, headaches or blurred vision. Those can progress into more dangerous conditions like permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent nervous system damage or death. Using methanol on your hands can put you at risk, but the most dangerous methanol poisoning comes from ingesting the products whether on accident or on purpose.

My heart sunk when I started looking through the product photos on the FDA's website because I recognized at least one bottle. Early on in the pandemic, I came home from the Albertsons on Parkcenter excited to tell my husband I finally found hand sanitizer! It happened to be the Bluemen Advanced Hand Sanitizer listed on the recall list.

According to 4e's recall website you can return your products to the store you purchased them at, but I'll likely just pitch mine. For as little as I spent on them, it's just not worth the time bothering customer service.