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Leader of Opposition, Hon. Matthew Wale is questioning the government and responsible authorities over whether tests have been done on hand sanitizer products allowed into the market for public use as a Covid 19 preventative measure.
The Opposition Leader shared this concern following reports from other countries which show the availability of dangerous contents in some hand sanitiser products. According to a recently released report, some types of hand sanitisers contain toxic ingredients, including methanol and/or 1-propanol, at dangerous levels. Other products advertised as being ethanol based turned out to contain methanol, or wood alcohol instead.
In the United States and in January alone, the report indicate more than 900 accidental poisoning involving hand sanitisers, the majority of these cases involve young children.
Based on the reports, US regulators had to take steps and place a countrywide import alert on more than half of all alcohol-based hand sanitisers imported until cleared by their responsible authorities.
Hon. Wale says, “Methanol is a toxic substance and can affect the skin if applied and more fatal if ingested and so such reports must not be taken lightly. It is therefore a matter of public concern that our people know whether the imported hand sanitisers in our shops have been put through appropriate tests or proper certification clearances to ensure safety levels.
While we want our people to take all precautionary measures against Covid 19, it is equally important that they are only provided with products that have been tested to be safe and recommended by the World Health Organisation, especially our young.
The pandemic has clearly seen an increase in the different types of hand sanitisers and other similar products in our shops. While this is a good thing it is important that the responsible authorities assures our people that they have been tested and proven safe for public use. The last thing we want is to be recklessly subjecting our people to other health problems in efforts to contain another.