Health crisis

Hand gel crackdown finds 6/10 products non-compliant

August 2020 photo shows hand gel for sale in a street market Photo: Matic Zorman / Masion Moderne

August 2020 photo shows hand gel for sale in a street market Photo: Matic Zorman / Masion Moderne

Three hand sanitisers were withdrawn from sale in Luxembourg for non-compliance following a Europewide crackdown on pandemic products.

The CASP Corona 2020 project involving 22 European countries including Luxembourg examined 39 samples of hand gels, including three in Luxembourg. Six out of ten of the products did not comply with legal requirements, mainly because they lacked the relevant information on the packaging.

Of the three products tested in Luxembourg, all three passed the chemical analysis but none carried the correct notifications to be sold and were withdrawn from the market. Two of the three also had labelling issues, according to an environment ministry statement published on Wednesday.

The statement advises consumers to use only hand gels that contain 70% alcohol concentration and avoid hand sanitisers that carry no warnings and/or pictograms or are intended for skin care.

“Hand sanitisers kill bacteria and viruses with concentrated alcohol, so they cannot treat the skin simultaneously,” the ministry wrote.

It added that since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, agents have checked 46 physical and online shops and service providers and detected 252 violations in hand disinfectant products.

Most resulted in banning the products from the market and returning the products to the supplier, or disposing of the goods. In addition to the administrative measures, 22 administrative fines were imposed, amounting to a total of €56,500.

The findings echo a survey of hand disinfectant products conducted by Delano and an expert in August 2020, which found that six out of ten products carried vague or no information on their effectiveness in stopping the spread of Sars-CoV-2. Meanwhile, only two had been recorded on the biocidal register.