Health Canada is advising Canadians that some hand sanitizers are being recalled from the market because they contain industrial-grade ethanol that has not been allowed to be used in hand sanitizers in Canada.
According to a press release, industrial-grade ethanol contains impurities not found in the type of ethanol approved for use in the manufacture of hand sanitizers, such as technical, 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.
Frequent use of these products can cause dry skin, causing irritation or cracks. Because industrial-grade ethanol has not been approved for the use of hand sanitizers in Canada, the Department has not reviewed it for their safety or efficacy.
A list of the affected products can be found below. Health Canada says it will update this list if it becomes aware of other affected products, so you can easily identify those they may have purchased and take appropriate action.
Canadians are encouraged to check the list regularly for updates.
What you should do
- Stop using the products listed below. Please follow municipal or regional guidelines on how to dispose of chemicals and other hazardous waste. You can also return the product to your local pharmacy for proper disposal.
- Talk to your health care provider if you have used these products and have any health problems.
- To 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 licensed for sale in Canada. Authorized hand sanitizers will display a natural product number (NPN) or drug identification number (DIN) on the product label. These products are on the list of hand sanitizers that meet Health Canada’s requirements.
- See 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 adverse events or complaints to health products to Health Canada.
Stop using these products. Talk to your health care provider if you have used any of these products and have any health problems. Report any adverse events or complaints to health products to Health Canada. See additional information on the purchase of health products safely in the links below.