‘Frequent use of these products may result in dry skin, causing irritation or cracking’
Health Canada has directed several companies to stop the sale of their hand sanitizers and recall them from the market because they contain industrial-grade ethanol that has not been authorized for use in hand sanitizers in Canada.
Being recalled are hand sanitizers from Eltraderm, Contract Packaging Distributions, Nature's Own Cosmetic Company, Sanilabs and Walker Emulsions. This comes at a time when sanitation is a huge concern for workplaces.
“Industrial-grade ethanol contains impurities that are not found in the type of ethanol approved for use in manufacturing hand sanitizers, such as technical-grade, food-grade or pharmaceutical-grade ethanol. In addition, chemicals that may not be approved for use in hand sanitizers are added to industrial-grade ethanol,” said Health Canada. “Frequent use of these products may result in dry skin, causing irritation or cracking. Since industrial-grade ethanol has not been approved for use in hand sanitizers in Canada, the Department has not reviewed it for safety or efficacy.”
Those who have come in contact with these products can do the following, according to Health Canada:
- Stop using the products listed below. Please follow municipal or regional guidelines on how to dispose of chemicals and other hazardous waste. You may also return the product to your local pharmacy for proper disposal.
- Consult your healthcare professional if you have used these products and have health concerns.
- To help limit the spread of COVID-19, wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers if soap and water are not available.
- Use hand sanitizers that have been authorized for sale in Canada. Hand sanitizers that have been authorized will display either a Natural Product Number (NPN) or Drug Identification Number (DIN) on the product label. These products can be found on the list of hand sanitizers that meet Health Canada's requirements.
- Consult the list of hand sanitizers authorized or registered in other jurisdictions that may not display an NPN or DIN but have been accepted for use in Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. This list of accepted products can be found here.
- Report any health product adverse events or complaints to Health Canada.
In May, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) found that its 55 per cent members are concerned with sanitation as provinces allow the reopening of businesses. Their top concern was social distancing (64 per cent).
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