Ensuring You Are Providing Safe Sanitizer for Your Employees
The FDA has released a list of products you should not use due to toxic ingredients. Is your hand sanitizer on the list?
- By Sydny Shepard
- Aug 28, 2020
The CDC and other government organizations have long since recommended employers and employees frequently wash their hands, and if a hand washing station is not readily available, use hand sanitizer to minimize the risk of spreading or contracting the coronavirus. Now, the FDA is warning people that the hand sanitizer they might be using could be detrimental to their health.
Back in July, the FDA released a press release on dangerous alcohol-based hand sanitizers containing methanol. Since then the agency has been hard at work providing a testing method to assess the quality of hand sanitizer products for impurities and putting together a table including all the manufacturers who have produced hand sanitizers not fit for killing germs and might even contain ingredients that are harmful to those who use it.
The FDA regulates hand sanitizer as an over-the-counter drug, available without a prescription. The agency often tests hand sanitizers for quality because it is a product they regulate. Throughout testing new products on the market, the FDA discovered series safety concerns with some hand sanitizers, including:
- Contamination with potentially toxic types of alcohol
- Not enough active ingredient (ethyl alcohol or isopropyl alcohol)
- Labels with false, misleading or unproven claims
Before you buy hand sanitizer for your company, the FDA recommends checking their do-not-use list first. The list has been regularly updated as new test results are released. Instructions on how to use the list can be found here.
Sydny Shepard is the former editor of Occupational Health & Safety.