Singapore’s Health Science Authority (HSA) has announced a recall of hand sanitisers. The authority has detected acetaldehyde and/or methanol at levels that are more than the pharmaceutical pharmacopeia limit.

How do these two substances affect us?

Acetaldehyde: Short-term may cause eyes, skin, and respiratory tract irritation

Methanol: Repeated exposure to its vapour may cause eye inflammation, headaches, giddiness, insomnia, stomach disturbances, and visual failure.

The hand sanitisers that are affected are (date of recall by Singapore’s HSA is between Feb and Apr 2021)

  1. Asepso™Professional Hand Sanitiser (Batch: B42M)
  2. Cuticura Hand Sanitizer (all batches)
  3. Epi KleenGel Hand Sanitizer Gel (all batches)
  4. Guardian Lavender & Passion Flower Antibacterial Hand Sanitiser (Batch: 9K28DF)
  5. Guardian Aloe & Korean-Mint Antibacterial Hand Sanitiser (Batch: 0D32DF)
  6. Kundal Fresh Water Hand Sanitizer+ (Batch: BN227)
  7. Sanitelle® Instant Hand Sanitizer Antiseptic Gel Kids (all batches)
  8. Cath Kidston® Moisturising Hand Sanitiser (all batches)
  9. 红月亮® Redmoon 抑菌免水净手凝胶 Bacteriostat Wash Free Hand Wash Gel (all batches)
  10. We11 Daily Instant Hand Sanitiser (all batches)
  11. Cool Day’s Peppermint Instant Hand Sanitizer (all batches)
  12. Walch® Instant Hand Sanitizer (Batch: TG01)
  13. TP 706 Hand Sanitiser (Exp: 10/03/2022)
  14. Lifebuoy Instant Hand Sanitizer (Batch: OD13UL)
  15. FairPrice Hand Sanitiser Lavender (Batch: 201251-001)
  16. germ-X® Advanced Hand Sanitizer Original Scent (all batches)
  17. Sanigen Gel Hand Refreshing Gel 600ml (all batches)
  18. Yuri® Hand Gel Green Tea Extract (all batches)

This is a Class 2 recall by HSA, which is for recalls of products with “issues that would not likely cause serious adverse health outcomes”.

Its level of recall is defined as a “wholesale level” recall, where the affected products or batches are recalled from wholesale suppliers. Affected suppliers have to stop their supply of the specified batches of the product and return any remaining stocks to the company.

Note: based on the definitions given by HSA, a “consumer level” recall means products or batches are recalled from patients, consumers, wholesale suppliers, retail suppliers, hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies, whereas a “retail level” recall is when products or batches are recalled from retail suppliers, hospitals, clinics and pharmacies as well as wholesale suppliers.

You can find details of this announcement on Singapore’s HSA website.