CHOICE campaigner Dean Price holding a bottle of White Knight hand sanitiser.
 
 
 
 
Form Section Structure
 
 

Sign the petition to stop dodgy hand sanitiser

Consumer Affairs Minister Sukkar: I call on you to stop dodgy hand sanitiser being sold in Australia.

Campaign Section Structure

 

White Knight hand sanitiser fails test

We should be able to trust that all hand sanitisers sold in Australia are safe and actually work.

But independent CHOICE testing has revealed a sample of White Knight hand sanitiser contained only 52% alcohol despite its label claiming it contained 75%. United Petroleum, the main seller of White Knight, has removed the product from sale after we alerted them to the results.

Hand sanitisers sold in stores and pharmacies around Australia aren't required to contain a minimum amount of alcohol to ensure they're effective against COVID-19. In fact, companies aren’t even required by law to label the alcohol content of their products.

This is the second hand sanitiser we’ve seen in recent months that doesn’t live up to the claims on its label. How many more are out there?

Without stronger regulation on hand sanitisers, there’s little to stop companies from selling ineffective products. But together we can change that.

What's the problem?

Hand sanitisers need to contain at least 60% alcohol to protect against the COVID-19 virus. Earlier in the year, our independent lab testing found that a sample of hand sanitiser sold by fashion retailer Mosaic Brands contained only 23%, while another sold in United petrol stations contained only 52%. Thanks to hundreds of people donating to CHOICE we’ve been able to test more hand sanitisers. But it shouldn't be up to us to make sure these products are safe.

'Air Clean Instant Hand Sanitizer Aloe Vera' contained only 23% alcohol – well below the 70% claimed on its label

 

FAQ

At the moment, hand sanitisers that are classified as ‘cosmetics’, or claim to follow a specific World Health Organization formulation, are exempt from stringent regulation by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) or the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC).

CHOICE thinks all hand sanitisers should be required to meet a minimum standard before being sold to consumers, including containing at least 60% alcohol and having clearer labels. There should be appropriate penalties for products that don't meet the right standard – especially when people are relying on these products to protect against the COVID-19 virus. This campaign is to help us win stronger consumer protections in this space.

CHOICE initially sourced 29 sanitisers and partnered with the National Measurement Institute (NMI) to conduct testing on alcohol content claims. We have sourced 32 more products for testing. The testers use gas chromatography with flame ionisation detection (GC-FID) to measure the percentage of ethanol and isopropanol in each sample. GC-FID is internationally recognised as the gold standard method for detecting the presence and amounts of these alcohols.

Once the results return from NMI, CHOICE verifiers check the results and claims, and then our team of journalists publish the content online, making it free for all consumers. Click here to view the results of our hand sanitiser tests.

By adding your name to this petition, you're sending a message to the government that consumers demand better labelling on hand sanitiser products, including the type of alcohol used and the percentage. If you've opted in, we'll keep you up to date with how the petition is going, from initial numbers through to its delivery to Parliament. We'll also email you from time to time with other campaigns we think you might care about and let you know how you can make a difference.

More than 230,000 CHOICE supporters make up Australia's largest consumer movement and help us advocate for change on the issues that matter, like fairer banking, safer products and better labelling. Share this link with family and friends so that they can add their names to the petition to stop dodgy hand sanitiser being sold in Australia: choice.com.au/handsanitiser

Learn More Campaign Anchor

Learn more

Error Modal Container
Scripts Block