U.S. Places Bans on Ethanol-based Hand Sanitizer

The U.S. Government has tightened restrictions on the use of ethanol in hand sanitizer, forcing suppliers of the corn-based alcohol to halt their sales at a time of soaring demand, in line with sources and documents seen by journalists.

U.S. Places Bans on Ethanol-based Hand Sanitizer

The crackdown is meant to protect consumers from potentially harmful impurities in hand sanitizer; however, it will likely worsen shortages of the product at a time households, hospitals, and nursing homes want it to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

The U.S. Meals and Drug Administration (FDA) on April 15 announced limits on certain chemicals permitted in alcohol-based hand sanitizer, updating brief guidance it adopted in March as the health disaster deepened and more producers registered to produce hand sanitizer.

Since then, the FDA has notified several ethanol firms saying their product doesn’t meet safety requirements, forcing them to halt production and cancel provide agreements, according to a source conversant in the matter.

In one case, the FDA stated it had discovered significant ranges of the carcinogen acetaldehyde in ethanol supplied by a company to be used in hand sanitizer, according to a recent email exchange.

The FDA said it decided to update the steering after reviewing ingredient data supplied by ethanol corporations and fielding multiple questions from companies searching for clarification about its temporary production policies.