Hand sanitiser used in schools recalled

Prolonged use may lead to dermatitis, headaches
  • Deborah Condon

A type of hand sanitiser that is used in some schools has been recalled due to "possible public health concerns", the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine has said.

It has removed Virapro Hand Sanitiser from the Biocidal Product Register, which lists all of the biocidal products that are authorised for sale in Ireland.

A biocidal product is a chemical product that destroys any harmful organism or renders it harmless.

According to the department, tests showed that some of the sanitiser on sale did "not comply with regulations governing the content and efficacy of such products".

"Some of the product contains methanol rather than ethanol. Prolonged use of such sanitiser may cause dermatitis, eye irritation, upper respiratory system irritation and headaches. This product may not remain on the market or be made available for use," it said.

The department has instructed the company involved to immediately recall all of this product and an investigation into the matter "is ongoing".

Members of the public are advised to stop using Virapro immediately. Meanwhile, the Department of Education is asking all schools to check whether they have this product in stock, and to stop using it immediately if they have.

The supplier of this product was one of 11 suppliers of personal protective equipment (PPE) for education settings.

Schools are due to finish up today for their mid-term break. The Department of Education has said that schools that are impacted by this "can make local arrangements to purchase stocks of hand sanitiser and can maximise the use of hand washing to support necessary hand hygiene" today.

However, if a school that is impacted believes it is necessary to close today, it can choose to do so.

"If a school is having difficulty sourcing replacement hand sanitiser, they should contact the Department of Education on the COVID -19 helpline and email address supplied to schools. Additional funding will be provided to schools to enable them to purchase the necessary supplies from an alternative supplier," it added.


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