Hand sanitizer recall: A cancer-causing chemical was found in this sanitizer

Hand sanitizer is the kind of product many people still carry with them, as the pandemic is far from over. It’s a quick and effective way to clean your hands when you don’t have immediate access to soap and water. But hand sanitizers can be dangerous if they contain potentially harmful substances. After a hand sanitizer recall in April caused by methanol and benzene contamination, we now have an action involving an Antica Farmacista hand sanitizer that might contain benzene.

Benzene is a known carcinogen. That’s why the detection of the chemical will trigger recall. The last time we saw a benzene-related recall was in early August when a company recalled sunscreen due to contamination.

Antica Farmacista hand sanitizer recall

Salon Technologies International has issued a recall for one type of Antica hand sanitizer. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published the press release at this link.

The company recalled one lot of hand sanitizer: Antica Ocean Citron Hand Sanitizer (alcohol) Gel 65%. You should look for lot number 1166A and expiration date 6/18/2023 on the container to determine if your sanitizer is included in the recall.

The recall concerns 512 bottles of Antica hand sanitizer that were sold in the Seattle, Washington area. Lab testing discovered that the product contained benzene.

Antica hand sanitizer recall: Front and back labels of the product. Image source: FDA

Why benzene is dangerous

Benzene is a known human carcinogen. Exposure to the substance can result in various types of blood cancer and other disorders. Leukemia, blood cancer of the blood marrow, and other blood disorders can develop depending on the duration and level of exposure.

The chemical substance can often be found in the environment both indoors and outdoors. Exposure happens in various ways: orally, via inhalation, and through the skin. Using the Antica hand sanitizer product in this recall could lead to exposure to benzene via the skin.

Salon Tech says it has not received any reports of adverse events connected with the Antica hand sanitizer. However, it would likely take a long time and prolonged exposure for any adverse reactions to appear.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains how benzene impacts the human body after exposure:

Benzene works by causing cells not to work correctly. For example, it can cause bone marrow not to produce enough red blood cells, which can lead to anemia. Also, it can damage the immune system by changing blood levels of antibodies and causing the loss of white blood cells.

The seriousness of poisoning caused by benzene depends on the amount, route, and length of time of exposure, as well as the age and preexisting medical condition of the exposed person.

Here’s what you should do

If you have Antica hand sanitizer from the recalled lot, you should stop using it immediately. Return the product to the store where you purchased it.

Moreover, people worried about adverse reactions should consult a doctor to determine the best course of action.

Consumers who experienced adverse reactions connected to the Salon Tech product can report them to the FDA via the MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program. You’ll find contact information for the FDA and Salon Tech in the press release at this link.

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