Last Updated on March 17, 2021 by The Health Master
Tamil Nadu: The drugs control administration (DCA TN) in Tamil Nadu has prosecuted 16 hand sanitizer manufacturers belonging to north and eastern parts of the country following detection of high levels of toxic methanol in the sanitizer products marketed in Tamil Nadu from other states.
Legal action has been initiated against the marketing companies who marketed the products in Tamil Nadu, and distributors, wholesalers and retailers have also been made responsible for the offence, said M Sivabalan, director of the TN DCA.
Following this, the DCA has issued circulars to all sanitizer manufacturers in the state to comply with the norms issued by the health authorities and the drug inspectors have been directed to draw samples from every firm to test for presence of methanol in alcohol-based hand sanitizer products being manufactured in the state.
The TN DCA director said the entire channel of distribution, from marketing companies to retail wing, was investigated before filing cases in the court. The investigation was going on for the last one year.
A few firms from Tamil Nadu are also included in the list. Despite repeated questions, the director did not divulge the details of the local manufacturers. He said all drug inspectors have been directed to take action against unsafe sanitizers.
Explaining the toxic effects of using methanol contained sanitizer, he said methanol is poisonous and the symptoms of methanol poisoning include nausea, dizziness, weakness and visual disturbances.
Methanol toxicity will result from ingesting or from absorption through lungs or skin. Its use is risky and dangerous to health, sometimes it will cause death also, he said.
When Pharmabiz asked whether he is aware of sale of unsafe sanitizers all over the state and what would be the likely impact of continuous use of this toxic methanol contained product, the director of public health (DPH) Dr. Selvanayagam said he cannot respond to the issue since the case is in the court.
“After all, the prosecution case was filed by the drugs control department, so my comment will become sub judice,” said the DPH.
Meanwhile, former DPH, Dr Kulandaiswami, said WHO has issued some guidelines for the preparation of hand sanitizers and all the firms engaged in the production of sanitizer products have to comply with it.
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