Health Canada warns Canadians that more hand sanitizers are being recalled from the marketplace because they may pose health risks.
In a safety alert, the federal agency states that the sanitizers either contain ingredients that are not permitted by Health Canada or are not properly labelled and are missing important information.
In some instances, these sanitizers contain industrial-grade DA-2I ethanol, which is not authorized for use in hand sanitizers.
Consumers are advised to immediately stop using the affected products and consult a healthcare professional if they have used any of these products and have health concerns.
Health Canada maintains a list of hand sanitizers that may pose health risks, so that Canadians can easily identify products they may have purchased and take appropriate action.
Photo: Health Canada
The COVID-19 outbreak has created a high demand for hand sanitizers. To increase the supply, Health Canada has taken several measures, including permitting the temporary use of technical-grade ethanol in alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
Manufacturers wishing to use technical-grade ethanol must choose from a list of Health Canada-authorized suppliers. They must receive a No Objection Letter from us before they can manufacture or distribute the product.
Technical-grade ethanol contains more impurities than pharmaceutical- and food-grade ethanol. Therefore, manufacturers must include the following risk statements on their product labels:
Hand sanitizers that contain unacceptable grades of ethanol or denaturants that are not approved for sale in Canada have not been reviewed for safety or efficacy. Denaturants are added to ethanol to make it taste bad, to discourage the unintentional ingestion of hand sanitizers, especially by children.
Two unauthorized denaturants have been found in hand sanitizers sold in Canada:
A list of affected products can be found HERE. Health Canada says that it will update this list if it becomes aware of other affected products.
Canadians are encouraged to consult the list regularly for updates.
What you should do
Report any health product adverse events or complaints to Health Canada.
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