Hand Hygiene and Hand Sanitizers

The COVID-19 pandemic has created an urgent need for a range of supplies to combat this virus including hand sanitizers and disinfectants. Most commercially available alcohol-based hand sanitizers contain either ethanol or isopropanol as active ingredients. Due to a diminished supply of hand sanitizers, the Federal Government introduced measures to expedite access to hand sanitizers including the approval of a technical-grade alcohol (ethanol) to be used in the production of hand sanitizers as well as permitting other types of manufacturing plants to produce hand sanitizing products. Health Canada conducted an assessment of the risks and benefits of the use of specific technical-grade ethanol and determined that, when used as directed and for a limited period of time, the public health benefit outweighs the risk.


Resources:


A complete list of hand sanitizers that meet Health Canada requirements visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-products/disinfectants/covid-19/hand-sanitizer


Public Health Ontario: Infographics on proper handwashing and hand sanitization techniques: https://www.publichealthontario.ca/-/media/documents/ncov/factsheet/factsheet-covid-19-hand-hygiene.pdf?la=en


Government of Canada Website: Wash your hands infographic: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/diseases-conditions/reduce-spread-covid-19-wash-your-hands.html


Government of Canada Website: Hand Hygiene:

https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/healthy-living/hand-hygiene.html


Centre for Disease and Control: Boil Water Advisory information about preparing food, beverages, or ice; dishwashing; and hygiene, such as brushing teeth and bathing: https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/emergency/drinking/drinking-water-advisories/boil-water-advisory.html


Centre for Disease and Control: Show Me the Science – When & How to Use Hand Sanitizer in Community Settings:

https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/show-me-the-science-hand-sanitizer.html


Centre for Disease and Control: Hand Sanitizer Use Out and About: https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/hand-sanitizer-use.html


Institute for Safe Medication Practices Canada - Safety and Risks RE: Hand Sanitizer: https://www.ismp-canada.org/download/safetyBulletins/2020/ISMPCSB2020-i3-ALERT-Hand-Sanitizers.pdf


FDA - Q&A for Consumers: Hand Sanitizers and COVID-19: https://www.fda.gov/drugs/information-drug-class/qa-consumers-hand-sanitizers-and-covid-19


Recall of certain hand sanitizers that may pose health risks: https://www.healthycanadians.gc.ca/recall-alert-rappel-avis/hc-sc/2020/73269a-eng.php


B.C. poison control sees dramatic uptick in calls about hand sanitizer:

https://bc.ctvnews.ca/b-c-poison-control-sees-dramatic-uptick-in-calls-about-hand-sanitizer-1.4955921


FDA warns of 5 more hand sanitizers to avoid, growing list to 14:

https://www.today.com/health/fda-warns-against-use-9-hand-sanitizers-due-methanol-t184922?cid=sm_npd_td_fb_ma

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