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Safety alert: Canada-wide recall issued for hand sanitizer due to 'health risks'

Hand sanitizer containing elevated levels of the impurity acetaldehyde may increase the risk of cancer.
hand-sanitizer
Health Canada is advising Canadians on October 4, 2021, that a brand of hand sanitizer is being recalled because it may pose "health risks." Photo: Hand sanitizer / Getty Images

Health Canada is advising Canadians that a brand of hand sanitizer is being recalled because it may pose "health risks."

The Canadian National Pharma Group (CN Pharma) is recalling some lots of its hand sanitizing spray because they were "found to contain technical grade ethanol and elevated levels of acetaldehyde."

Technical-grade ethanol contains more impurities than pharmaceutical- and food-grade ethanol. 

Hand sanitizer containing elevated levels of the impurity acetaldehyde may increase the risk of cancer. This risk is assumed to increase with use (e.g., frequent applications over a long period of time)

The sanitizer is a topical liquid that is listed as 80 per cent ethyl alcohol. The NPN listed is 80098091. 

The lots or serial numbers listed include the following:

  • dc2005np001
  • db042120
  • dc2005np002
  • db42120

What you should do 

  • Stop using the products identified in the table.
  • Follow municipal or regional guidelines on how to dispose of chemicals and other hazardous waste; or
  • Return the product to your local pharmacy for proper disposal
  • Contact the company if you would like more information about the recall
  • Consult your health care professional if you have used these products and have health concerns

To help limit the spread of COVID-19, wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers that have been authorized for sale in Canada. Consult these resources for more information:

Report any health product adverse events or complaints to Health Canada.

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