28/05/2020 - Permalink

Coronavirus: Warning over Sham Hand Sanitiser

Related topics: Community / Coronavirus / Economic growth / Health / Public protection

Shropshire Council’s Trading Standards Officers are today warning consumers and shopkeepers to avoid a sham hand sanitiser recently found on sale in the county, as it will not protect them from the coronavirus.

Since the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic, Public Health England had advised that to be effective, hand sanitisers need to contain at least 60% alcohol.  A product recently being sold in Shropshire was found to contain as little as 11.7%, despite being labelled to show a 70% concentration.

An image of the sham hand sanitiser that has been sold in Shropshire.

If you have or see this sham hand sanitiser, you should report it to Trading Standards.

The product, found so far in blue and clear liquid forms, is being sold in 250ml bottles in the name of Miss Life Ltd.  Neither that company nor the marked postcode on the bottle exist.  The blue liquid was found to contain 37% alcohol and the clear just 11.7%.  They were also selling for between £7 and £10.

Members of the public are being warned to stop using the product immediately and report where and when they bought it from to Trading Standards through the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133 or 0808 223 1144 for Welsh Speakers.  Shopkeepers are also warned to stop selling it immediately and to urgently report to Trading Standards who they acquired it from.

Frances Darling, Trading Standards & Licensing Operations Manager with Shropshire Council, said:

“It is absolutely scandalous that this product is out there.  At a time when people are dying due to COVID-19 and we are all desperately trying to protect ourselves and the ones we love, I am appalled that someone has considered it acceptable to risk the lives of others in order to make a quick profit.  They clearly knew that what they were making and distributing was not at all legal as they have gone to the trouble of putting a false name and address on the packaging to evade detection.

“Given our obvious concerns about the origins of this product and the results of the analysis, we would urge people to stop using it immediately.  This product may not protect you in the way that you think.  There have been shortages due to high demand and this has, unfortunately, allowed space in the market for dreadful products such as this to surface.

“Regular handwashing using soap is advised, for 20 seconds at least, but if you need to use a hand sanitiser try and purchase a brand you recognise from a reputable retailer.”

Gwilym Butler Shropshire Council Cabinet member for Communities, Place Planning and Regulatory Services, said:

“I would urge all retailers to be extremely cautious when sourcing products to sell.  Unfortunately, there are many unscrupulous individuals who are looking to make a quick profit from selling products that are in high demand and short supply. I urge that you stay with your regular suppliers and don’t accept products from unknown or unverifiable sources.  If you can’t prove where the products you have on your shelves are from, then unfortunately, you may be responsible for any harm that comes from selling them.”

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