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One of Ireland’s Biggest Hand Sanitizers Has Been Recalled Due To Negative Side Effects

One of Ireland’s Biggest Hand Sanitizers Has Been Recalled Due To Negative Side Effects

The Department of Agriculture has ordered the recall of a particular brand of hand sanitizer that is used in schools up and down Ireland after concerns about potential side effects.

The Virapro brand sanitizer has been linked with symptoms such as dermatitis, eye irritation, upper respiratory system irritation and headaches, thought to be caused by the use of methanol rather than ethanol in the production of the liquid.

Schools have been asked to stop using the product immediately and, according to the Irish Independent, can even close early in order to prevent pupils from using the sanitizer. Methanol, the ingredient that is thought to cause the side effects, is a close relation of ethanol but crucially different. They are just one atom apart in difference, but while ethanol is generally not harmful to humans - indeed, it is the active ingredient in the alcohol that we drink - methanol can be very dangerous even in small quantities and is instead more commonly used in products such as antifreeze.

Schools across the country will close as of Friday. Credit: PA
Schools across the country will close as of Friday. Credit: PA
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"The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, has removed the hand sanitiser product Virapro Hand Sanitiser (PCS 100409) from the Biocidal Product Register due to possible public health concerns," read a statement from the government.

"Tests by the Department show that some of the sanitiser on sale does not comply with regulations governing the content and efficacy of such products. Some of the product contains methanol rather than ethanol. Prolonged use of such sanitiser may cause dermatitis, eye irritation, upper respiratory system irritation and headaches.

"This product may not remain on the market or be made available for use. The company involved has been instructed by the Department to initiate an immediate recall of all product. Members of the public are advised to stop using this Sanitiser with immediate effect. A Department investigation into this matter is ongoing."


Topics: Ireland

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Mike Wood

Mike Meehall Wood is a freelance journalist and translator. He writes for LADbible, VICE and countless sports publications, focusing on rugby league, football and boxing. He is a graduate of Leeds University and maintains a fizzy pop obsession. Contact Mike at [email protected]