SABS issues new standard for hand sanitisers

By Se-Anne Rall Mar 16, 2021

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DURBAN – The South African Bureau of Standards has banned hand sanitisers containing acetone, methanol and methylated spirits.

“Hand sanitisers with no ‘active’ ingredients must have a minimum 70%​ alcohol content. Hand sanitisers with ‘active’ ingredients must have a minimum of 60% alcohol content. ‘Active’ ingredients are biologically active ingredients such as benzalkonium chloride,” the Bureau stated.

It added that acetone, methanol and Methylated spirits are actually prohibited as they’ve been cited to comprise extraneous toxicity ranges, posing a hazard to customers when absorbed by the pores and skin.

According to the SABS, SANS 490 requires hand sanitisers to be packaged and labelled in response to set requirements.

“The amended SANS 490 adds further requirements for packaging and labelling. Hand sanitiser packaging may not contain cork closure lids and the labelling of hand sanitiser products must contain the following information about the registration number and full address of the manufacturer, alcohol percentage, a ‘flammable’ warning as well as a do not ingest warning,” the SABS stated.

The label should additionally embody storage temperature warnings, whether or not the sanitiser is a gel or liquid, the quantity of mass of the gel or liquid and the elements to specify the kind of alcohol.

Furthermore, the labels should embody an expiry date and batch quantity, directions for use and a SABS-approved mark, if the producer or model is authorized by the SABS.

The Bureau stated the amended SANS 490 have to be adopted not solely by hand sanitiser producers but additionally employers who distribute hand sanitisers within the workplace. If hand sanitisers don’t adjust to the amended SANS 490, employers shouldn’t distribute them within the workplace.

“By distributing hand sanitisers that comply with the amended SANS 490, employers will ensure that the health and safety of their employees and anyone else who may enter the workplace is sufficiently safeguarded,” the SABS stated.


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