Health Canada adds five hand sanitizers to recall list due to health risks

TORONTO — Health Canada has expanded its growing recall of hand sanitizers sold in Canadian stores, adding five new products that the agency says may pose certain health risks.

The recall, issued in June and updated on Tuesday, advises anyone with the products in their home to stop using them immediately and consult a health-care professional if they have health concerns.

The agency said it has recalled the hand sanitizers because they either contain ingredients that are not permitted for use in Canada, such as technical-grade ethanol, or are not properly labelled and are missing important information.

Frequent use of products that contain unacceptable grades of ethanol or other denaturants, including methanol and ethyl acetate, may lead to dry skin causing irritation or cracking, eye irritation, upper respiratory system irritation and headaches, according to Health Canada.

The following hand sanitizers were added to the recall list on Monday:

  • Last Best Brewing and Distilling Hand Sanitizer
  • Nomad Hand Sanitizer (Lemongrass), made by Rocky Mountain Soap Company
  • Prairie Potions Purify Hand Sanitizer and Antibacterial Spray
  • Sanix – Gel d’alcool pour les mains avec émollients, 70% alcool éthylique (250 mL and 4L sizes)

A list of the previously recalled hand sanitizers can be found here.

Health Canada has directed the companies to stop the sale of these products.

Canadians are asked to consult their municipal or regional guidelines on how to properly dispose of the products. The products can also be returned to local pharmacies for disposal.

Health Canada has released a full list of sanitizers approved for sale in Canada and another list of acceptable products, which may not meet full regulatory requirements but are safe for use and will help meet national demand. The agency says hand sanitizers that have been authorized will display either a Natural Product Number (NPN) or Drug Identification Number (DIN) on the product label.

Health officials continue to advise that Canadians regularly wash their hands with soap and water to limit the spread of COVID-19. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can be used if soap and water is not available.

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