According to Health Canada, some of the recalled hand sanitizers contained (or possibly contained) ingredients not permitted by the agency, and were either being sold without proper product testing or were counterfeit.
“The COVID-19 outbreak has created a high demand for hand sanitizers,” the agency said.
“To increase the supply, Health Canada has taken several measures, including permitting the temporary use of technical-grade ethanol in alcohol-based hand sanitizers.”
Technical-grade ethanol is a chemical compound that contains high concentrations of acetaldehyde, which could be carcinogenic and pose risks to children, people with broken or damaged skin and pregnant or breastfeeding women.
The agency also said it would be recalling hand sanitizers with “unacceptable grades of ethanol or denaturants that are not approved for sale in Canada” and “have not been reviewed for safety or efficacy.”
Denaturants are added to ethanol to make it taste bad and discourage children from accidentally eating or drinking it.
Health Canada is asking Canadians to immediately stop using any of the recalled hand sanitizers and return them to local pharmacies that can properly dispose of them.
The list of hand sanitizers in this recall includes:
- Aerochem Liquid Hand Cleaner 70% Alcohol
- Gigi’s Goodbye Germs Hand Sanitizer
- JP Wiser’s Distillery, KeraSpa
- Natural Concepts Sanitizing Gel
- Peak Processing Solutions – Ethanol sanitizer 80%
- Preference Pre-Quat Sanitizer
- Premium Hand Gel Sanitizer
- Premium Hand Sanitizer
- Safe-Guard Product Canada Hand Sanitizer
- Salon Solution Waterless Hand Wash
- SunnaPure Hand Sanitizer Spray T-1000
- TerraPure Hand Sanitizer
- Umbrell (60 mL format)
A full list containing the details behind the recall of each hand sanitizer is available on Health Canada’s website.