Current Environment:

Methanol is a toxic alcohol that is used in some industries as a solvent, pesticide, or an alternative fuel source. Methanol is dangerous. It should never be inhaled, swallowed, or used as a hand sanitizer or disinfectant in the home. It can also cause harm if it touches skin or gets in eyes.

Methanol can be listed on labels under many common names such as methyl alcohol, sodium methoxide, wood alcohol, and carbinol. It can be found in the following:

  • paints
  • varnishes
  • anti-freeze
  • cigarette smoke
  • fuels
  • pesticides
  • wood preservatives

How do you know if you have been exposed to methanol?

Symptoms of methanol exposures include:

  • dizziness
  • confusion
  • loss of coordination
  • blindness
  • death

If you believe you have been exposed to methanol, call Poison Control at 800-222-1222 or visit

Hand sanitizer recall: Methanol has recently been linked to dangerous and recalled hand sanitizers that used methanol as an ingredient. For more information about which hand sanitizers to avoid and to see if your hand sanitizer is on the recall list, visit the FDA Hand Sanitizer Recall webpage.

For more information on methanol, visit the CDC webpage on methanol.