– Teresa Madaleno:
Over a three-month period Health Canada recalled over 80 different hand sanitizer products because they deemed them “unsafe”. In most cases, the products were recalled because they were not labelled properly or contained ingredients that are not approved by Health Canada.
So not all hand sanitizers are alike and with sanitizer in high demand, it’s critical that consumers pay close attention to what they are buying. For instance, if your sanitizer has industrial grade ethanol in it, you should question it. According to Health Canada, companies that want to use “technical-grade” ethanol in hand sanitizer can do so but they have to meet strict conditions.
Statistics Canada reports there was a 7-fold increase in hand sanitizer sales in the month of March. Since the Canadian government and health officials first sounded the alarm about COVID-19, sanitizer has been flying off store shelves.
Here are four key reasons you need to check your hand sanitizer:
1. For many years, alcohol has been a common ingredient in a lot of hand sanitizers. While studies show that alcohol can be an effective ingredient to protect against various germs, some research does suggest that alcohols applied to the skin have no persistent residual impact. This is one of the reasons Sparta Group is distributing a powerful, yet alcohol-free antimicrobial to truckers and bus drivers. Sold under its TruckSuite™ Canada division, the company is providing an antimicrobial hand sanitizer and a surface pathogen protector so the trucking and busing industry can safeguard the inside of vehicles. The surface formulation can be used on just about anything including cloth, leather, metal, and plastics without causing damage. The hand sanitizer lasts up to 16 hours, while the surface formulation lasts up to 30 days.
2. Alcohol may kill germs, but it is also hard on your skin. If you use hand sanitizer often and it contains alcohol, you will likely experience dry or even chapped skin. This happens because the alcohol disrupts your natural oil production. When used over a prolonged period of time, alcohol-based hand sanitizers have the potential to lead to wrinkles and other skin blemishes. The hand sanitizer Sparta distributes has a built-in moisturizer.
3. Many hand sanitizers that don’t contain alcohol, do contain triclosan. Triclosan is a strong antibacterial agent. The problem with the ingredient is that overuse can lead to the development of superbugs. What are superbugs? They are diseases that are resistant to antibiotics. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that in 2013 alone, superbugs were responsible for 23,000 deaths. The sanitizer being distributed by Sparta Group contains no triclosan or other high-concentration chemicals. The company is focused on environmental technology so it makes sense that it would want to provide a more natural solution to customers.
4. Scented hand sanitizers can be enticing. Who doesn’t like the sound of Warm Sugar or Fresh Apple? Companies don’t have to indicate the exact ingredients they use to come up with their special scents. It leaves you wondering if they could be made from hazardous chemicals. A lot of synthetic fragrances are made of phthalates. Research is ongoing; however, some studies have linked phthalates to a number of health complications, including abnormal hormone production. The Sparta products are not infused with any fancy scents.
With so many different products flooding the market, it can be overwhelming for the average consumer, as well as those managing businesses and trying to protect employees. Check out the Canadian governments “Recalls and Safety Alerts” to review any products currently deemed unsafe.