In recent weeks, the FDA has recalled numerous hand sanitizers sold in the US to combat COVID 19. The recalls include formulations that contain wood alcohol or methanol, both of which can be toxic in high doses. Pregnant women, women planning a pregnancy, and those breastfeeding have been trying to stay safe from COVID, and now are finding that the products that they had been relying on may in fact be potentially harmful.

If used as directed on your skin, and not ingested, proper use of hand sanitizers should have little to no known increased risks to mom or baby. Even if those products did contain methanol or wood alcohol. Standard use is unlikely to pose significant concern. The only research on methanol in pregnancy is animal studies, which exposed rodents to much higher levels that would be typical of human exposure. The recall of hand sanitizers that contain methanol made mention of methanol poisoning in people who swallowed the sanitizer, but no reports of toxicity has been reported thus far in people who only used it on their hands. Additionally, no concerns have been reported related to pregnancy outside of maternal toxicity (making the mom sick).

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