Two Cork companies are offering help to schools affected by the recall of a hand sanitiser

Two Cork companies are offering help to schools affected by the recall of a hand sanitiser

William Twomey, Commercial Director, Mervue Laboratories, pictured in their facilities, Watergrasshill, Co. Cork. Mervue is one of the companies offering help to schools affected by recall of ViraPro Hand Sanitiser (PCS 100409).
Picture: Clare Keogh.

SCHOOLS affected by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine's recall of a hand sanitiser product have been offered alternative supplies by local companies.

Cork hand sanitiser manufacturer Mervue Laboratories who supply Gelguard to the HSE and others, were quick off the mark this morning with an offer of help to schools who have been using the recalled product, ViraPro Hand Sanitiser (PCS 100409).

Mervue Labs have offered to donate 2,000 500ml bottles to schools in the Cork area affected by the recall.

"We’re in a position that we can help anybody that’s in trouble or anyone that needs an emergency supply.

"We’re happy to donate to them," Keith Birdthistle, General Manager at Mervue Laboratories told The Echo.

Mr Birdthistle said it was unfortunate to hear about the recall of ViraPro Hand Sanitiser (PCS 100409).

"For something like this to happen, it’s a surprise to everyone really. 

"It’s the last thing families and children need after everything they’ve gone through," he said.

Mervue Laboratories, an animal company, teamed up with Irish Distillers in early March to start producing hand sanitiser and became the first company to supply the HSE.

Mervue has made emergency packs available from their site in Watergrasshill and they can also arrange delivery by taxi. 

Schools can contact to avail of the offer.

Irish hand sanitiser company Airmedica also offered to donate supplies of their hand sanitiser to schools.

"As a father with kids in school myself, I am acutely aware of the need to have the right products in place to keep teachers and students safe. 

"Once I heard of the product recall, I immediately knew we were in a position to help," Airmedica CEO Aiden Corcoran said.

"As we manufacture our sanitiser in Cork and Mayo, we are ready to deliver nationwide to schools in need. 

"Schools can contact us directly on 0949371570 or email," he continued.

The Department of Agriculture said that tests show that some of the ViraPro hand sanitiser on sale does not comply with regulations governing the content and efficacy of such products.

In a statement, the Department said that some of the product contains methanol rather than ethanol.

It said prolonged use of such sanitiser may cause dermatitis, eye irritation, upper respiratory system irritation and headaches.

Yesterday evening, the Department of Education said that it was informing all schools of the need to check what hand sanitiser they are using.

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