Buy only registered rubbing alcohol and hand sanitizer, watchdog says
A resident of Old Balara in Quezon City receives hygiene kit from personnel of Quezon City during their distribution last March 18, 2020.
The STAR/Michael Varcas

Buy only registered rubbing alcohol and hand sanitizer, watchdog says

Franco Luna ( - March 25, 2020 - 11:59am

MANILA, Philippines — Amid the worsening novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the country, chemical safety watchdog group on Tuesday urged consumers to be vigilant when buying rubbing alcohol and hand sanitizer products.

According to the EcoWaste Coalition, using unverified products could be counterproductive as they could lull customers into a false sense of security despite not actually keeping them safe from COVID-19. 

On Tuesday, the Health department confirmed 90 more cases of the new pathogen, bringing the national total of COVID-19 patients to 552. 

Even the country's Food and Drug Administration has voiced out this concern. 

In separate issuances, FDA director general Eric Domingo warned the public against using unverified products and advised consumers to check product labels for information "including, but not limited to, country of manufacture, name and address of company placing the product in the market, manufacturing or expiry date, and instruction for use."

In an advisory dated March 20, the FDA encouraged consumers “to be vigilant in the purchase and use of these types of products in light of proliferation of unregistered/unnotified products during this time when a state of calamity has been declared due to COVID-19 threat in the country.” 

The administration also attached in its advisories lists of its notified hand sanitizers and registered antibacterial agents.

“Consumers should be on their guard against the spread of unregistered rubbing alcohol and unnotified hand sanitizer in the market, including online stores, as the COVID-19 crisis deepens,” said Thony Dizon, Chemical Safety Campaigner at the EcoWaste Coalition.

"Using these unverified products, the safety and efficacy of which is questionable, may give consumers a false sense of security in the time of coronavirus," he added.

READ: Why hoarding medical supplies is bad for everyone, including you

The FDA's list of notified hand sanitizers is:

Meanwhile, the administration's list of registered topical antiseptics and antibacterials is attached below. 

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