Benzene Detected in 44 Hand Sanitizers

By By Dan Hounsell
March 30, 2021

No strategy to protect patients and staff of healthcare facilities — and nearly every other institutional or commercial facilities — is more common than hand sanitizer. With dispensers deployed at every entrance and throughout facilities, managers have made sanitizers key components of efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 in their buildings. 

Now, online pharmacy Valisure reports it has detected a carcinogen called benzene in 44 brands of hand sanitizer that entered the market during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Becker’s Hospital Review.

Though benzene is usually banned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the high demand for hand sanitizer during the pandemic led the agency loosened its rules to allow 2 parts per million of benzene in liquid hand sanitizers.

Of the 260 hand sanitizer brands tested by Valisure, 44 batches contained benzene, with the highest level of the carcinogen detected at 16.1 parts per million, more than eight times the FDA's limit.

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Topic Area: Infection Control


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