The organization says hand sanitizers with “unacceptable types” of ethanol or denaturants have not been approved for use in sanitizers in Canada, and their safety and efficacy have not been established.
Denaturants are ingredients added to ethanol to make it unfit for human consumption.
Health Canada says possible reactions to the ingredients include skin irritation, eye irritation, upper respiratory system irritation and headaches.
Health Canada has an evolving list on its website of 51 hand sanitizers that are currently being recalled and says Canadians should consult the list regularly. The organization says to stop using products listed, and to consult a health-care professional “if you have used these products and have health concerns.”
Health Canada says use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer should be used if soap and water is not available for proper hand washing.
For the full list of recalled brands visit Health Canada’s webpage.