The Department of Education has asked schools to check their supplies of hand sanitiser after the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine announced it had removed the hand sanitiser product Virapro Hand Sanitiser (PCS 100409) from the Biocidal Product Register due to possible public health concerns.
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine said that tests show that some of the 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.
“This product may not remain on the market or be made available for use,” it said.
The Department added: “ The company involved has been instructed by the Department to initiate an immediate recall of all product. Members of the public are advised to stop using this sanitiser with immediate effect. A Department investigation into this matter is ongoing.”
On Thursday evening, the Department of Education said that it was informing all schools of the need to check whether they have used this supplier and have stocks of this product.
It said the supplier of this product was one of 11 suppliers on the multi-supplier framework for PPE for education settings.
In a statement it said: “On Friday 23 October schools that are impacted by this can make local arrangements to purchase stocks of hand sanitiser and can maximise the use of hand washing to support necessary hand hygiene.
“If a school that is impacted judges it necessary to do so, they can choose to close for the day or close early on Friday 23 October.” It added: “If a school is having difficulty sourcing replacement hand sanitiser, they should contact the Department on the Covid -19 helpline and email address supplied to schools. Additional funding will be provided to schools to enable them to purchase the necessary supplies from an alternative supplier.”