Officials examining if NI hospital hand sanitiser impacted by Ireland health scare

Officials examining if NI hospital hand sanitiser impacted by Ireland health scare

Virapro hand cleanser gel at the Belfast Trust in the grounds of Belfast City Hospital (Liam McBurney/PA)

Northern Ireland health officials are working to establish if a hand sanitiser used in the region’s hospitals is affected by a product recall south of the border.

The Department of Agriculture in Ireland has removed Virapro hand sanitiser (PCS 100409) from the Biocidal Product Register because of public health concerns.

The department warned that prolonged use of the sanitiser may cause dermatitis, eye irritation, upper respiratory system irritation and headaches.

Members of the public have also been urged not to use the product as it contains methanol rather than ethanol.

Stormont’s Department of Health confirmed that a Virapro sanitiser was used in Northern Ireland.

“Prior to purchase a review of the product datasheet was completed to ensure it met appropriate requirements which it did,” said a spokesman.

“The product datasheet provided for assessment states that the product contains ‘ethanol’.

At this stage we are unable to confirm if any product supplied is affected.

“The notification published by the Irish Government’s Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine on 22/10/20 advises that the manufacturer is to initiate an immediate recall of product.

“At this point HSC NI has not received any contact regarding recall and is initiating contact with its supplier to establish if any product supplied to Northern Ireland is affected.

“If product used in NI is found to be affected then as with any product found to be defective or sub-standard it will be withdrawn from use.”

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