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Warning: Fraudulent Hand Sanitiser in Circulation

Posted on 04 November 2020 by AF Web
Category: Education, Announcements

Law enforcement operatives in the UK have seized millions of fraudulent hand sanitisers, following an outbreak of copycat products flooding onto the market.

Whilst many of these were seized at UK ports, many have also been manufactured in the UK.

As demand continues to outstrip supply, counterfeit products are a dangerous by-product of an increasing stress on the supply chain.

Fraudulent Hand Sanitisers – What to Watch Out For 

Banned Substances 

In a report published by product information specialists, Ashbury, it was found that between March and April 2020, hand sanitisers containing illegal substances were being sold in UK retailers.

One such substance is Glutaral (Glutaraldehyde), which has been banned in the UK since 2014 due to its serious irritation of the skin, eyes, and throat.

Another substance, Triclosan – linked to osteoporosis – was also found in substances.

The presence of one or both of these substances in hand sanitiser is highly alarming.

Branding Spoofs

In addition to illegal substances, Ashbury reported a significant increase in brand impersonation.

Customers trust brands they know – especially when it comes to sanitising products because not all hand sanitisers are equal in their efficacy.

There are plenty of people looking to turn a quick profit, preying on brand loyalty by using virtually identical packaging.

Be alert for this by looking at the packaging properly. Especially if you’re buying online.

The key thing to spot is the product name. This may seem obvious, but if you’re in a rush or associate brands with their imagery, you could fall victim to impersonation fraud.

False Marketing Claims 

Finally – one of the more common occurrences is false claims.

For example, some hand sanitisers claim that they can kill various bacteria and viruses without actually having the means to prove it.

All genuine sanitising products such as Anti-bac+ are certified by PL and/or EN codes on their packaging, issued by UK and European regulatory bodies.

Products without these carry zero scientific or legal proof that the user will be protected against bacteria or viruses, so it’s essential that you keep an eye out for these registration codes.

There’s also the risk that the hand sanitiser in question could be a fake, including the banned substances listed earlier in the article.


If you’re concerned about a fraudulent hand sanitiser product, reach out to us
on AF Live Chat or via info@af-net.com.