Substandard Hand Sanitisers Sold In Punjab: FDA Report

Substandard Hand Sanitisers Sold In Punjab: FDA Report



Quality tests conducted by the food and drug administration (FDA) Punjab have revealed that substandard alcoholbased hand sanitisers are being sold in Punjab markets. This, at a time when the state is seeing a big spike in cases every day.


While hand rub sanitizers are one of the mandated safeguards against Covid-19, majority of the samples tested have been found to be of substandard quality. What is more worrying is that some of the failed samples even contained toxic chemical methanol, use of which is prohibited. According to health experts, exposure to methanol can cause health issues like dizziness, drowsiness, headache, nausea, vomiting, seizures and damage to the nervous system.


The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had last week alerted central and state governments against markets flooded with highly toxic methanol-based hand sanitizers.


The FDA Punjab collected a total of 75 samples of alcohol-based hand sanitizers from chemists across the state, of which 25 samples had been tested so far. Of these, 17 were found to be of sub-standard quality while five samples were misbranded, giving wrong information about the product.


As per formulation recommendation by the World Health Organisation (WHO), a hand sanitizer should contain ethanol 80% or isopropyl alcohol 75%. Only three samples have, so far, been found to be of standard quality.


The FDA has strengthened surveillance in all the districts to check the sale of poor quality hand sanitizers. Special teams have been formed for carrying out inspection at chemist shops, wholesale stores and warehouses of drug suppliers to collect samples.


Commissioner food and drugs administration Kahan Singh Pannu said that providing quality products at fixed price is their top priority. "Action has been initiated as per laid down provisions of the law against the sellers and manufacturers of the substandard hand sanitizers," said Pannu. He further said that FIRs are being registered against the violators.


The central government in March had brought masks and hand sanitizers under the Essential Commodities Act and had fixed their rates. As per the notification of the central government issued on March 21, hand sanitizers cannot be priced at more than Rs 100 per 200ml while retail prices of three-ply masks was fixed at Rs 8 per mask and not exceeding Rs 10.


Showing scant regard, a large number of manufacturers are selling their products at rates exceeding that fixed by the government.


Taking note of chemists indulging in malpractice of selling hand sanitizers at inflated prices, nine police cases have been registered against erring chemists and fines amounting to Rs 95,000 have been imposed on 12 chemists for selling masks at more than fixed rates. The Times Of India