Academic Forensic Pathology | VOL. 12

A Cluster of Five Deaths Due to Methanol Toxicity After Apparent Hand Sanitizer Ingestion in the Setting of Chronic Alcoholism

Publication Date Jul 11, 2022


Methanol toxicity and its associated pathologies have been widely studied, however, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was an increase in methanol toxicity due to apparent consumption of contaminated hand sanitizer. We report a cluster of five deaths and one presumed death due to the apparent consumption of hand sanitizer, contaminated with methanol, in the setting of chronic alcoholism. The deaths occurred in Coconino County, Arizona, over a four-and-a-half-month period (June-October 2020), before and during a Food and Drug Administration recall of contaminated hand sanitizer. Methanol-related deaths are relatively uncommon in Coconino County, with only one methanol associated death (source of ingestion unknown) occurring over the previous five years.


Coconino County Hand Sanitizer Methanol Toxicity Food Recall Food Administration Hand Sanitizer Ingestion Apparent Consumption COVID-19 Pandemic Chronic Alcoholism Drug Administration

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