Don't drink hand sanitizer, regardless of what it's packaged in, Health Canada says | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Don't drink hand sanitizer, regardless of what it's packaged in, Health Canada says

File. Hand Sanitizer.
Image Credit: PIXABAY
June 10, 2020 - 11:20 AM

Health Canada is asking people to be wary of what they pour, with hand sanitizers now being widely distributed in booze bottles.

"Some manufacturers of hand sanitizers are having difficulty producing or sourcing containers normally used for medical or household products. Many companies have increased their production in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but are finding that appropriate packaging is limited," reads the alert from Health Canada.

"Some companies, such as breweries and distilleries, are using water, wine and liquor bottles for hand sanitizer. The products’ labels and branding may also be similar to the labels and branding of known alcoholic beverages or bottled water so consumers could confuse hand sanitizer for water or other beverages. Ingesting hand sanitizer could cause serious harm, particularly in children, because of the high alcohol content."

Last week, Health Canada recalled six hand sanitizers that include industrial grade ethanol. 

All hand sanitizer products authorized for sale by Health Canada have an eight-digit Drug Identification Number (DIN) or Natural Product Number (NPN) on the label and are listed on the List of Hand Sanitizers Authorized by Health Canada.

To avoid a potentially poisonous path, they advise to always follow the label directions on hand sanitizers, store these products away from beverages, and keep them out of the reach of children. Always supervise children when they use hand sanitizer. If hand sanitizer is swallowed, call a poison control centre or seek medical attention right away.
As with all health products, always read and follow the directions on the product label.

The Government of Canada has also issued guidance to industry on acceptable packaging materials and sizes for hand sanitizer products to ensure their availability during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We encourage manufacturers to consider the appearance of containers to avoid a potential confusion by consumers,"

Health Canada continues to monitor the situation. If a safety concern or non-compliance is identified, Health Canada will take action and inform Canadians.

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