Hand sanitizers recalled as province enters Stage 2 of reopening

Published On June 24, 2020 | By Sewon Hwang | COVID-19, News
Peter Bosciglio cuts Joe Krywionek’s hair at Peter’s Barber shop in Cobourg, Ont., on June 12 as the provincial Stage 2 reopening from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions begins outside of the Toronto area. REUTERS/Carlos Osorio
Sewon Hwang

Health Canada ordered recall Monday of certain brands of hand sanitizers because they contain industrial-grade ethanol.

This type of ethanol is not approved for use in hand sanitizers in the country was found in the products, Health Canada said. Prolonged use of hand sanitizers with the ingredient can cause dry skin, leading to irritation or cracking. The list of recalled hand sanitizers is available here.

Health Canada is advising people to stop using these products and to consult a doctor if symptoms appear.



This announcement comes amid Toronto and Peel Region’s second phase of reopening. Starting June 24, restrictions will be eased for malls, restaurant patios, barbershops, nail salons, swimming pools and other public areas.

Many retail businesses already have implemented mandatory masks and hand sanitizer usage before entering their premises.

“Personally, my main concern isn’t about hand sanitizer that is too rough,” Keith Bellec, a Toronto resident said. “My main concern is, given that there is a shortage of hand sanitizer, if there would be fraudulent sanitizers that don’t actually sanitize.

“If it’s too rough, I can always counter that by bringing my own lotion or hand sanitizer with me everywhere I go,” they said.

Faith Raven, a Toronto resident who was laid off from her IT job because of COVID-19, said she was alarmed about the recalls.

“That’s incredibly concerning, but I’m not surprised,” she said. “A lot of regulations regarding production have become lax and when quantity has to keep going up, this is what happens.”

Bellec and Raven say they were more concerned about the premature reopening in Toronto.

“No one needs to be in crowded malls right now, especially when there’s still a shortage of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment),” Raven said.

Windsor-Essex, which was delayed in entering Stage 2 will join the rest of the province on June 25, except for Leamington and Kingsville because of recent outbreaks.

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