Coronavirus: UAE health authorities recall hand sanitisers

The products were tested and found to contain less than 60 per cent alcohol

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The Department of Health in Abu Dhabi has recalled several hand sanitisers from the market due to low alcohol content.

On Monday, the department said the affected products included Rosa Bella, Dyna+ and Lulu hand sanitiser with Aloe and Vitamin E.

The products will be pulled from shelves because they contain less than 60 per cent alcohol.

“The Department of Health is alerting all healthcare professionals on the decision to recall several hand sanitiser products from Abu Dhabi market,” the notice read.

“Samples of the affected products were tested at the Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council Central Laboratories.

Some hand sanitisers contain benzalkonium chloride instead of alcohol as the active ingredient. [They] are not as effective in eliminating harmful germs

“Analyses results confirmed the nonconformity of the products’ content/strength to international standards for hand sanitiser products used for antiviral/antibacterial activities.”

Pharmacies and supermarkets were advised to stop selling the three products immediately.

Health professionals were urged to report “products with suspected quality defects” to the department.

Hand sanitisers that claim to “kill 99.99 per cent of germs” may be ineffective in fighting viruses due to their low ethanol content.

The World Health Organisation and the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, said certain varieties might not protect people against Covid-19.

The organisations recommend the use of hand gels and scrubs with “at least 60 per cent alcohol”.

Dr Anwar Sallam, chief medical officer at the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company said people should always check the ingredients before buying such products.

"Regardless of the brand, hand sanitisers that are unscented, transparent and contain at least 60 per cent alcohol or ethyl solution are the most effective," he told The National.

How to protect yourself against coronavirus

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“Some hand sanitisers contain benzalkonium chloride instead of alcohol as the active ingredient.

“Those sanitisers are not as effective in eliminating harmful germs and rather only reduce the growth or spread of them.”

He said hand sanitisers were not 100 per cent effective in killing all bacteria, which is why hand washing before and after routine activities was essential to combat the outbreak.

“If a person does not have access to soap and water, then a hand sanitiser may be used,” Dr Sallam said.

“To correctly use it, make sure your hands are not already visibly greasy or dirty.

“Apply a generous amount to your fingers, palms and wrists and make sure to rub into all your hand folds and between your fingers.

“Finally, wait until the hand sanitiser fully dries before proceeding with another activity or touching a surface.”

This month, the Ministry of Economy warned shopkeepers against increasing the price of hand sanitisers, wet wipes and soaps amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

It said those found in breach of the law could face hefty penalties, including fines of between Dh5,000 to Dh100,000 and temporary closure.

The alert came after customers in some parts of the country complained that shops increased the price of hand-hygiene products.

How to report a complaint:

Call 02 419 3589 or email