KATHMANDU, Sep 28: The Department of Drug Administration (DDA) has imposed a ban on nine brands of hand sanitizers on Monday after finding inadequate concentrations of methanol in them.
In a testing conducted at the National Medicine Laboratory, the DDA found that hand sanitizers produced by nine companies contained a high amount of methanol, which could pose a health risk to users.
Publishing a public notice, the DDA informed that nine companies--one from India and eight from Nepal--have produced hand sanitizers without following the standards set by the government. After the demand for hand sanitizers soared in the market amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the government had set ‘standards of alcohol-based instant hand sanitizer 2020’, which has recognized that sanitizers with at least 70 percent ethanol (ethyl alcohol) are fit for use.
On September 16 too, the government had imposed a ban on five types of hand sanitizers with excessive amounts of chemicals.
Following the pandemic, the sale of substandard hand sanitizers is on the rise in the market across the country including in the Kathmandu Valley amid soaring demands and weak government monitoring. Availability of low-quality hand sanitizers has exposed the consumers to health risks.
A study carried out by the Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) last month shows that around 45 percent of hand sanitizers being sold in the local market are unfit for use.