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  • Pushya Chokshi

Your Sanitizer Might Not Work!

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, sanitization of the hands with the use of alcohol disinfectants is a part of routine hygiene. But according to the recent safety alert given by the Government of Canada, there are some sanitizers in the market which are not up to the safety standard. After the unexpected increase in demand for alcohol hand rubs government is trying hard to cope up with these new demands. As a part of increasing demand, Health Canada has approved the use of technical grade ethanol under certain conditions, but the companies are failing in following the guidelines leading to the product recall. Also, some companies are trying to use the banned ingredients due to the cost factors. Along with all these issues, the biggest issue is the introduction of counterfeit sanitizers in the market having unknown active ingredients.

Counterfeit sanitizers: According to the recent update provided by Health Canada on 19th October 2020 2 sanitizers are recalled due to their counterfeit products in the market. Daily shield is the common hand rub alcohol sanitizer that is sold in dollarama but the counterfeit of the product was identified by the parent company Bio life sciences corporation under which health Canada was notified.

The counterfeit version is labeled with NPN 80098979, Lot 6942; Expiry May 2023 and is sold in a 250 mL format*. As identified by the company to be counterfeit, the components of the sanitizer are unknown due to which it is not safe to use. A counterfeit version of the daily shield is suspected to contain methanol which is poisonous if ingested. Dollarama has stopped selling the batch and is working with Health Canada to recall the batch of the suspected sanitizers.

Image source: image of daily shied sanitizer taken from Health Canada.

Another incident took place on 1st October 2020 when a counterfeit version of Zytec germ buster hand sanitizer was identified by the distributor northern national sales inc. The distributor identified that Zytec Germ Buster Hand Sanitizer 1L (labeled with NPN 80015625, lot number 3329733126) was a counterfeit**. As advised by the Health Canada counterfeit products are the fraudulent version of the authentic product, if used can lead to undesirable results.

If you possess any of the products above you should stop using it and discard it.

Image source: image of zytec germ buster sanitizer taken from Recall of counterfeit Zytec Germ Buster Hand Sanitizer.

Technical issues: Technical grade ethanol use is temporarily permitted in place of pharmaceutical-grade ethanol but it’s possible after following certain guidelines. Proper labeling along with the possible health hazard should be printed along with it. It is also supposed to include health warnings and the contact number in case of an emergency. Companies can buy this ethanol from the Health Canada approved suppliers after getting a “No Objection Certificate” from them.

Due to the increased demand, certain companies fail to follow these guidelines leading to recall of their products.

It was found by Health Canada that some brands use Methanol or Ethyl acetate as the denaturants which are prohibited. The use of denaturants is essential is sanitizers to make it taste bad, in case of accidental ingestion. But the denaturants mentioned above has some serious side effects and is not preferred to use. Identified use of such chemicals also leads to the recall of certain brands of sanitizers.

If you think you fell sick after the use of any of the recalled products consult your physician immediately. Discard the product if you still possess them and inform the retailer regarding the same.


Health Canada Counterfeit Daily Shield Hand Sanitizer *

Health Canada Recall of counterfeit Zytec Germ Buster Hand Sanitizer **

Government of Canada recall

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