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At a time where the use of bogus hand sanitizer has caused a number of different injuries and sicknesses, one non-profit group is launching a system to certify the safety of these types of products.

Green Seal is now certifying alcohol-based hand sanitizers that meet the highest standard for health and safety in the marketplace amid growing consumer concern about toxic products, according to an announcement from the company.

With the COVID-19 pandemic spurring many first-time producers to enter the market, the FDA has warned consumers to avoid more than 175 hand sanitizer products because of incorrect formulations and high levels of hazardous ingredients including methanol (wood alcohol) and the contaminant 1-propanol. Meanwhile, even when properly formulated, hand sanitizers available on the U.S. market can include hazardous ingredients linked to cancer, allergies, skin and eye irritation and other harmful health effects – even if they have an ecolabel, according to Green Seal.

Green Seal’s new hand sanitizer certification standard, created with input from public health and industry experts, screens 100 percent of the product formula for carcinogens, reproductive toxins, skin irritants, phthalates, parabens and contaminants. All Green Seal-certified products must meet strict performance testing requirements to ensure effectiveness.

“There is a critical market gap right now where buyers know to beware of toxic or ineffective hand sanitizers but are hard-pressed to quickly and easily identify safer options,” says Green Seal CEO Doug Gatlin. “Green Seal certification gives consumers, purchasers and facility managers confidence that they are buying a hand sanitizer that has been independently verified to the highest standard for health, safety and effectiveness.”

Green Seal’s hand sanitizer certification standard is the non-profit’s latest initiative to harness its expertise to provide products, services and guidance that help protect people from both COVID-19 and negative health impacts from toxic chemicals.

Green Seal Guidelines for Safer Cleaning and Disinfection for schools and workplaces have been adopted by commercial cleaning companies servicing more than 1 billion square feet of space.

SEIU 32BJ, the largest union of property service workers in the U.S., has partnered with Green Seal on COVID-19 training for its members. 

To learn more about Green Seal’s hand sanitizer leadership standard and Green Seal-certified products, visit www.greenseal.org/hand-sanitizer.