French fraud office recalls ineffective hand sanitiser

The hand sanitiser was found to have just 27% alcohol in it, far under the recommended 60%+ required to be effective

The French fraud office has recalled a brand of hand sanitiser gel after discovering that it does not contain enough ethanol content to provide antiviral or antibacterial protection.

The brand of the hand sanitiser gel is Symex. It was sold as “Hand Sanitizer”, in bottles of 30, 60 and 100 ml, and in a variety of different scents and colours.

But now fraud and consumer goods office La Direction Générale de la Concurrence, de la Consommation et de la Répression des Fraudes (DGCCRF) has announced that the gel “has insufficient ethanol quantity to ensure any real antiviral or antibacterial protection”.

It said that anyone who has bought the product should stop using it, and take it back to the original point of sale.

The Symex gel is often sold in bottles that look like this (Photo: Le Parisien / Twitter)

This is not the first time that these gels have been accused of having a too-low ethanol content to be effective.

In April, media company France Télévisions tested the Symex gel after its staff used it, believing it would protect them against Covid-19. But the results showed that the gel contained just 27% alcohol.

This is much less than the amount recommended by health authorities to ensure antiviral and antibacterial effects.

Generally, hand gels should be at least 60% ethanol or isopropanol to be effective, and ideally much higher, as stated by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

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