The South African Bureau of Standards has taken any hand sanitisers containing acetone, methanol and methylated from the shelves and warns the public against uncertified products.

Certified sanitisers or products should have the SABS approved logo, SANS 490, SANS 1853 or both below the logo on the bottle.

According to IOL, the Bureau said that hand sanitisers must contain a minimum 70 percent​ alcohol content.

Hand sanitisers with ‘active’ ingredients must have a minimum of 60 percent alcohol content. ‘Active’ ingredients are biologically active ingredients such as benzalkonium chloride”.

Acetone, methanol and methylated sanitisers have high toxicity levels, which could be dangerous to users when the skin absorbs it.

“Hand sanitiser packaging may not contain cork closure lids and the labelling of hand sanitiser products must contain the following information about the registration number and full address of the manufacturer, alcohol percentage, a ‘flammable’ warning as well as a do not ingest warning,” the SABS said, as reported by IOL.

The label of the hand sanitiser (gel or liquid) bottle should also contain storage temperature warnings, the mass of how much sanitiser is inside, and the ingredients used to make up the sanitiser.

“By distributing hand sanitisers that comply with the amended SANS 490, employers will ensure that the health and safety of their employees and anyone else who may enter the workplace are sufficiently safeguarded,” continued the SABS.

The Bureau further added the SANS 490 must be obeyed not only by the manufacturers of sanitisers but also by employers who offer sanitiser is working environments. If the sanitiser does not match the specifications from SANS 490, it should not be used.

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