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A Geographically Distinct Case of Fatal Methanol Toxicity from Ingestion of a Contaminated Hand Sanitizer Product During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Authors
  • Overbeek, Daniel L.1
  • Watson, C. James1, 2
  • Castañeda, Nicolette R2
  • Ganetsky, Michael1, 2
  • 1 Boston Children’s Hospital,
  • 2 Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center,
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Medical Toxicology
Publisher
Springer US
Publication Date
Feb 02, 2021
Volume
17
Issue
2
Pages
218–221
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s13181-021-00824-9
PMID: 33528767
PMCID: PMC7852476
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Case Report
License
Unknown

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered outbreaks of unanticipated toxicities, including methanol toxicity. Multiple methanol outbreaks have been described, including contaminated hand sanitizer in the southwest USA. In this case, we describe a fatal case of methanol toxicity from hand sanitizer ingestion, geographically separated from the outbreak in the southwest USA and prior to the announcement of nationwide warnings by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The product was identified as one later recalled by the FDA for methanol contamination. Additionally, the consumption in this case was related to a desire to conceal alcohol consumption from family members. This case of methanol toxicity should increase awareness of the ease of which contaminated products can be widely distributed and of the use of alternative ethanol-containing products to obscure relapse in alcohol use disorder.

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