Dated August 25, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a Consumer Update on FDA’s investigation of adulterated hand sanitizers on the market in the United States. In mid-June, the FDA began issuing warnings about methanol contamination in hand sanitizers. Since then, over 150 products have been added to the list, most of them manufactured in Mexico, and propanol has also been found to be a contaminant. The Consumer Update provides information on how to search FDA’s list, methanol and propanol and their toxicities, and the proper use of hand sanitizers
Hand Hygiene Recommendations for DHCP
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) 2016 “Summary of Infection Prevention Practices in Dental Settings: Basic Expectations for Safe Care” and Guidelines for Infection Control in Dental Health-Care Settings, 2003 recommend hand hygiene guidelines specific for dental healthcare professionals, which include the following:
- DHCP should wash their hands with soap and water at the start and end of each workday, in addition to before and after each patient. Hand hygiene is also required after removing and discarding gloves.
- The use of 60-95% alcohol-based hand sanitizers as an alternative to soap and water is permitted, as long as hands are not visibly soiled or contaminated.
- Hands should be thoroughly dried before donning gloves to prevent bacterial growth. Additionally, hands washed with hand sanitizers should be thoroughly dried before gloving because hand sanitizer products can interfere with glove integrity.
- Store liquid hand-care products in either disposable closed containers or closed containers that can be washed and dried before refilling. Do not add soap or lotion to (i.e., top off) a partially empty dispenser.
Additional Resources on Hand Hygiene During COVID-19 Pandemic
- FDA’s Q&A for Consumers: Hand Sanitizers and COVID-19 (July 29, 2020)
- CDC’s Official Health Advisory Serious Adverse Health Events Associated with Methanol-based Hand Sanitizers (July 5, 2020)
- CDC’s COVID-19 Website
Since 1992, OSHA Review, Inc. has provided dental professionals with comprehensive programs to support regulatory compliance and infection control. We are a registered continuing education provider in the state of California, specializing in Dental Practice Act, infection control, and OSHA training.