Birmingham & Black Country

Coronovirus: Seized hand sanitisers contained banned substance

The bottles Image copyright Birmingham City Council
Image caption Trading standards officers are urging people to contact them if they are suspicious of anything on sale

Bottles of "potentially harmful" hand sanitiser, some of them containing banned substances, have been seized in Birmingham, the city council has said.

The 51 bottles were taken from a trader on Thursday.

Some contained a substance called glutaraldehyde, which has been banned for human use since 2014, the council said. They were being sold for £5 each.

The substance can cause irritation to the skin and to the eyes and throat if inhaled or swallowed.

Glutaraldehyde can be used in cleaning products but it not been approved for human use since April 2014, the local authority said.

Image copyright Birmingham trading standards
Image caption The substance, which has the brand name Glutural, can be dangerous if inhaled or swallowed

Other seized bottles did not have labels, with the inconsistency "most concerning" to inspectors.

Tony Quigley, head of trading standards in Birmingham, said: "Due to inconsistency in the labelling it is not clear whether these products were counterfeit, or expired products containing the banned ingredient.

“The most concerning thing for us is that if the contents of this sanitiser reflect the label, then they contain an ingredient that was stopped from being used in in this type of product in 2014.

"Others had no labels so we cannot be sure of what they contain."

Demand for hand sanitiser has soared due to the outbreak of coronavirus outbreak, with gin distilleries and pharmacies looking to create their own in response.

Anyone with information over the sale of counterfeit products in Birmingham is urged to contact the council.

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