CHOICE issues hand sanitiser safety warning, product recalled
A hand sanitiser tested by CHOICE after a community tip-off failed a commissioned test.
The laboratory test found the product had an alcohol content of only 23 per cent – well below the amount of alcohol required to be effective, said Erin Turner, director of campaigns at CHOICE.
As a result, ‘AIR Clean Instant Hand Sanitizer’ sold by Mosaic Brands, the company behind fashion retailers Katies, Rockmans, Rivers and Noni B, has been withdrawn from sale.
Ms Turner said CHOICE commissioned the test after receiving multiple community tip-offs from consumers concerned about the quality of the Mosaic-sold products.
“In the COVID-19 context, ineffective sanitiser is a major public health risk,” she said. “In order to be effective, a hand sanitiser must have enough alcohol. It’s very worrying that CHOICE has found a hand sanitiser sample with only 23 per cent alcohol, when it should have between 60 and 80 per cent, depending on the formula.
“As a result of our spot check on this Mosaic sample, CHOICE is now conducting further testing of sanitisers across Australia.
“We have also referred Mosaic to the regulators to determine if this is a one-off issue with a small batch or something more concerning.
“We welcome actions from Mosaic to withdraw the products from sale and conduct further testing themselves. This is the responsible course of action given the risks involved.”
CHOICE offered the following safe sanitising tips.
1. Preference soap and water
Hand sanitiser shouldn’t be your first choice. If you have access to soap and water it will be the most effective way to eliminate germs, provided you follow guidelines for effective handwashing.
2. Is it sticky?
Hand sanitiser must typically contain between 60 and 80 per cent alcohol (depending on type) to be effective. If you place sanitiser in your hands and it has a sticky texture and doesn’t evaporate as you rub – you may have a dodgy sanitiser. A sticky texture indicates that the formula has too much gel substance and not enough alcohol.
3. Tell someone
If you’re worried about your sanitiser, you should tell the retailer.