Health Canada says certain hand sanitizers made with ethanol or denaturants are not acceptable ingredients for use in hand sanitizers - and has recalled a long list of products.
Health Canada is advising Canadians that certain hand sanitizers are being recalled from the market because they contain ethanol or denaturants that are not acceptable for use in hand sanitizers in Canada. Denaturants are added to ethanol to make it unfit for human consumption and, therefore, to avoid the unintentional ingestion of hand sanitizers (particularly by children).
Since these unacceptable types of ethanol and denaturants have not been approved for use in hand sanitizers in Canada, the Department has not reviewed them for safety or efficacy. Multiple types of unacceptable ethanol and denaturants have been found in hand sanitizer products," says Health Canada.
Possible adverse reactions to the ingredients in these products may include dermatitis, such as skin irritation and cracking; eye irritation; upper respiratory system irritation; and headaches. Health Canada will update this list if it becomes aware of other affected products, so that Canadians can easily identify ones they may have purchased and take appropriate action. Canadians are encouraged to consult the list regularly for updates.
Health Canada also maintains a list of hand sanitizers that contain technical-grade ethanol and are being recalled from the market because they are not compliant with federal regulations and may pose a risk to health.
What you should do
Stop using the products listed below or on the list of hand sanitizers that contain technical-grade ethanol and may pose a risk to health. 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.
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. Report any health product adverse events or complaints to Health Canada.