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Health Canada recalls 2 more hand sanitizers

TORONTO — Health Canada is adding two more products to its growing list of recalled hand sanitizers.

The two products in question are MediCare Foaming Hand Sanitizer, which is produced by Dollarama L.P., as well as Pur-Vie, produced by Literies Universelles Paga Inc.

The agency says that Pur-Vie was found to contain “elevated levels” of benzene, an impurity that may increase the risk of cancer and can cause drowsiness, dizziness, rapid or irregular heartbeat as well as headaches.

As for MediCare Foaming Hand Sanitizer, Health Canada says this product may contain undeclared acetaldehyde, another potentially carcinogenic impurity, at elevated levels.

As a result of the increased demand for hand sanitizers because of the pandemic, Health Canada greenlit the use of technical-grade ethanol for hand sanitizers. Sanitizers containing technical-grade ethanol must adhere to strict labelling requirements to protect vulnerable populations, such as adding statements that say, “Adults only” and “Not recommended if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.” The agency says that MediCare products were missing this information on its labels.

The MediCare products in question have expiry dates of October, November and December 2023, while the Pur-Vie products have an expiry date of November 2022.

Since June 17, 2020, Health Canada has recalled 179 hand sanitizers. A full list of the recalled hand sanitizers can be found on Health Canada’s website.

A list of hand sanitizers and hard-surface disinfectants authorized by Health Canada can also be found on the agency’s website.

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