SABS bans hand sanitisers containing acetone, methanol and methylated spirits

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Rafiq Wagiet

307 days ago
SABS bans hand sanitisers containing acetone, methanol and methylated spirits © chai89/123rf.com

The South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) has amended current standards for hand sanitisers, which entails that manufacturers of such products and employers distributing them in the workplace will have to comply with.

The amended regulations are in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, as the use of alcohol-based hand sanitisers surged in the past year.

The SABS has found that some manufacturers are falling short of the national standard, with some sanitisers containing unverified products.

SABS has also banned hand sanitisers containing acetone, methanol and methylated spirits, as they have been cited to contain high toxicity levels, posing a danger to users when absorbed through the skin.

Lead administrator at the SABS Jodi Scholtz has recommended that suppliers of sanitising liquids get their products tested and certified by SABS.

The amended SANS 490 provides greater and more detailed requirements for hand sanitisers and hand rubs. It is now specified that a minimum of 70% alcohol content is required if alcohol, such as ethanol, isopropanol or n-propanol is the main ingredient; and that 60% alcohol content is required if there are other active ingredients. Solvents such as acetone (propanone), methanol, methylated spirits or other spirits are not allowed to be used as they can cause toxicity and even fatalities, if absorbed through one’s skin.

Jodi Scholtz - Lead administrator at the South African Bureau of Standards

Manufacturers will now need to submit evidence which proves that their alcohol-based sanitisers are effective until the date of expiry. Products submitted to SABS for testing in accordance with the newly amended SANS 490 will be studied for approximately 20 days.

We've always had what we call SANS (South African National Standards), regulating all alcohol based hand sanitisers. What we've done is made a few amendments to those standards, particularly the inclusion of an alcohol percentage, and more importantly the type of alcohol that should be contained in the hand sanitisers.

Jodi Scholtz - Lead administrator at the South African Bureau of Standards

Listen to the audio of the interview with Jodi Scholtz below

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : SABS bans hand sanitisers containing acetone, methanol and methylated spirits

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