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The FDA is advising consumers to avoid unscented ArtNaturals hand sanitizers, which contain “unacceptable levels” of benzene, acetaldehyde, and acetal.
The first two contaminants are known carcinogens, while the third can irritate the upper respiratory tract, eyes, and skin.
Consumers are urged to stop using ArtNaturals hand sanitizers immediately and throw the products away, ideally in a hazardous waste container.
Time to check your pockets and purse: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning of cancer-causing contaminants in a popular hand sanitizer brand’s products.
In an alert released on October 4, the FDA announced it had found “unacceptable levels” of benzene and other cancer- and irritation-causing contaminants in ArtNaturals hand sanitizers. The agency urges consumers to stop using all ArtNaturals hand sanitizers after multiple failed attempts to contact the California-based company. If you have the contaminated product, the FDA says to dispose of it in a hazardous waste container immediately.
After testing the brand’s scent-free hand sanitizers, the FDA found benzene, acetaldehyde, and acetal contaminants in multiple products. Although it’s unclear what risks these compounds pose in hand sanitizer, the FDA recommends avoiding products containing high levels of any of the chemicals.
Benzene, a known carcinogen, has recently been found in several popular sun-care products, including Neutrogena and Coppertone aerosol sunscreens. Acetaldehyde is another cancer-causing chemical that also carries the risk of serious illness and death, the FDA explains. And acetal can irritate the upper respiratory tract, eyes, and skin, although it is not a carcinogen, per the agency.
ArtNaturals “was born out of a desire to free beauty from high prices, toxic chemicals, and all-around bad vibes,” the company’s website reads—though this contradicts the FDA's findings.
Consumers who own any ArtNaturals hand sanitizers—which have been sold on Amazon and at Walmart—should stop using them immediately, the FDA warns. “Do not pour these products down the drain or flush them,” the alert reads; instead, they should ideally be disposed of in a hazardous waste container.
To keep your hands clean in the meantime, wash them in running water with soap for at least 20 seconds, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If soap and water aren’t readily available, the agency recommends using hand sanitizers with at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol as active ingredients—and no contaminants.
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