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David Baxter PhD

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5 hand sanitizers added to Health Canada's evolving recall list
Sarah Rieger, CBC News
Oct 13, 2020

Newly recalled products manufactured in Alberta, Manitoba and Quebec


Health Canada recalled five additional hand sanitizers that contain ingredients that may pose health risks. (Don Campbell/The Herald-Palladium/The Associated Press)

Five more hand sanitizers were added to Health Canada's evolving recall list on Tuesday, which now includes more than 100 products that may pose health risks.

The newest recalled hand sanitizers are:

  • Last Best Brewing and Distilling Hand Sanitizer from Last Best Brewery (Calgary)
  • Nomad Hand Sanitizer (Lemongrass) from Rocky Mountain Soap Company (Canmore, Alta.)
  • Purify Hand Sanitizer and Antibacterial Spray from Prairie Potions (Winnipeg)
  • Gel d'alcool pour les mains avec émollients, 70% alcool éthylique en format de 250 mL from Sanix (Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que.)
  • Gel d'alcool pour les mains avec émollients, 70% alcool éthylique en format de 4 L from Sanix (Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que.)
The products were recalled either for containing technical-grade ethanol without authorization, containing methanol or missing risk statements.

Health Canada said if you own any of the recalled products on the list, you should immediately stop using them and consult a health care professional if you have used them and have any concerns. Any adverse events or complaints can be reported to Health Canada.

The COVID-19 pandemic created high demand for hand sanitizers. Health Canada said in June that it permitted the temporary use of technical grade ethanol — if manufacturers chose an authorized supplier and obtained Health Canada's permission first.

Technical grade ethanol contains more impurities than pharmaceutical or food grade ethanol, so it requires a warning that the products are only for adults, not for those pregnant or breastfeeding and shouldn't be inhaled or used on damaged skin.

Some of the products also used unauthorized denaturants, like methanol, which are added to ethanol to make it taste bad and discourage someone from intentionally or unintentionally ingesting hand sanitizer. Reactions to frequent use of a hand sanitizer containing methanol could cause dermatitis, eye irritation, upper respiratory system irritation and headaches.

When washing hands with soap and water isn't an option, Health Canada suggests checking its list of hand sanitizers that have been authorized for sale in Canada.
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