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Trading Standards seize potentially harmful sanitizer

A picture of hand sanitizer bottles seized by trading standards
The bottles of hand sanitizer that were seized.
Published: Friday, 20th March 2020

Trading Standards Enforcement Officers seized bottles of potentially harmful hand sanitizer from a Birmingham trader yesterday (Thursday 19 March).

The sanitizer was being sold at £5 per bottle, some of which purported to contain an ingredient called glutaral (or glutaraldehyde), which was banned for human use in 2014, whilst other bottles had no labelling at all.

Glutaral can be used in cleaning products and has previously been used by the NHS to clean surgical tools and surfaces. However, it was subject to a non-approval decision under the EU Biocidal Products Regulations for use in Product Type 1 – Human Hygiene disinfectants back in April 2014, therefore products were no longer allowed to be marketed after May 2015 for use in hand sanitisers etc.

Tony Quigley, Head of Trading Standards at Birmingham City Council, said: “Trading Standards seized 51 bottles of potentially harmful hand sanitizer from a Birmingham trader yesterday. Due to inconsistency in the labelling it is not clear whether these products were counterfeit, or expired products containing the banned ingredient glutaral.

“The most concerning thing for us is that if the contents of this sanitiser reflect the label, then they contain an ingredient that was stopped from being used in in this type of product in 2014. Others had no labels so we cannot be sure of what they contain.

“We will continue our investigations and deal with those traders that are selling counterfeit and illegal products. Anyone who sees something that they are concerned about should report it to tradingstandards@birmingham.gov.uk.”