Hand sanitisers are being used as instant means of sanitisation
Hand sanitisers are being used as instant means of sanitisation|Representational image
NATIONAL

How safe is your hand sanitiser? Check here

Consumer Guidance Society of India tested 122 hand sanitiser samples against the alcohol contents as per claims made on the product. See what it says

Simran Bajaj

Simran Bajaj

Guwahati: The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the public into a hygiene frenzy. Earlier, only selected people used to carry or use hand sanitisers, however now, everyone wants a means of instant sanitisation.

However, the public health emergency has lead to a sudden splurge in demand for hand sanitisers, and given opportunity to adultered and non-effective products to infiltrate the market.

The Consumer Guidance Society of India (CGSI) recently studied hand sanitisers available in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, and Thane (all in Maharashtra). It tested hand sanitizer sample purchased from the market and against the alcohol contents as per claims made on the product.

CGSI carried out “Gas Chromatography” testing of the hand sanitizer samples in nationally accredited laboratory in August 2020.

Overall test summary
Overall test summaryCGSI

It was found that of the total 122 samples tested, around 40% products do not comply with specifications as declared on their labels.

Hand sanitisers not complying with claims mentioned on label
Hand sanitisers not complying with claims mentioned on labelCGSI
Hand sanitisers not complying with claims mentioned on label
Hand sanitisers not complying with claims mentioned on labelCGSI
Hand sanitisers not complying with claims mentioned on label
Hand sanitisers not complying with claims mentioned on labelCGSI

Further, 5 samples, that is, 4% were found to containing toxic Methanol instead of and are harmful for harmful for use.

The report said, "Sanitizers containing TOXIC METHANOL (a primary alcohol) do not qualify as an ingredient on the label as it is a banned item. Sale of natural ethanol is strictly regulated and so impossible to obtain without alcohol permit. Denatured synthetic alcohols although available without permit or regulatory compliance are however very expensive. Some manufacturers to get over these problems avoid using ethyl alcohol and instead use TOXIC METHYL ALCOHOL as replacement. Unscrupulous manufacturers could use branded container packing for marketers to sell spurious methanol-based sanitizers."

Methanol is a poisonous liquid, and once absorbed into the body, it can cause various issues.

Details of the samples containing toxic methanol
Details of the samples containing toxic methanolCGSI
CGSI

12 samples, that is 10% of the total were found without any claims

CGSI

1 sample, which is around 1% of the 122 samples, was found infective against COVID-19 or any other virus.

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