A bottle of hand sanitizer

The United States is temporarily easing restrictions on impurities in hand sanitizer so that it can more easily be manufactured during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Trump administration will reduce the restrictions placed on alcohol-based hand sanitizer after it chose to tighten restrictions back in April, reports Reuters.

The loosening of restrictions should allow fuel and ethanol companies to once again produce emergency hand sanitizer supplies. These companies began making hand sanitizer earlier on in the pandemic, but met resistance after impurities believed to cause cancer (like gasoline and benzene) were found in some batches. 

"The FDA is working with industry to ensure that harmful levels of impurities are not present if ethanol is used in these products," the administration says in a statement posted to its website. Based on careful review and consideration of available data, we are specifying interim levels of certain impurities that we have determined can be tolerated for a relatively short period of time, given the emphasis on hand hygiene during the COVID-19 public health emergency and to avoid exacerbating access issues for alcohol-based hand sanitizer."

The FDA is encouraging those with questions regarding hand sanitizer to email the administration at COVID-19-Hand-Sanitizer@fda.hhs.gov.