Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitiser Controversy!
Last week we passed on an NHS Property Services safety alert (dated 26 May) that warned of alcohol-based hand sanitiser becoming combustible in hot temperatures (e.g. when left in vehicles). This had been widely circulated (including by the police) and reported in the national media. Many people have commented that the alert was misleading at best, or a plain hoax. Whatever the intent of the original message, it is now generally agreed that whilst there are safety issues involved in alcohol-based sanitisers being used in vehicles (it is flammable), the risk of it causing a fire is dependent on contact with a source of ignition (spark or flame). This is a standard warning which is given on the packaging of each product.
NHS Property Services has now Tweeted the following (on 24 June): “We are aware of media interest in an internal note we issued last month. It is now our understanding that risks associated with hand sanitisers in vehicles only become apparent when in contact with a spark. We will be issuing a formal alert to our frontline teams to clarify this.”
You should continue to use hand sanitiser as part of your hygiene routine where you cannot use soap & water.
Remember: hand hygiene is one of the most effective methods to stop the spread of COVID-19 following indirect contact (picking up the virus up by touching contaminated surfaces and objects).