'Influx' in hand sanitiser from around the world to Irish market

There has been an "influx" in hand sanitiser from around the world to the Irish market since the ...

09.43 1 Nov 2020

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'Influx' in hand sanitiser fro...

'Influx' in hand sanitiser from around the world to Irish market


09.43 1 Nov 2020

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There has been an "influx" in hand sanitiser from around the world to the Irish market since the arrival of COVID-19.

At the start of the pandemic, there were also a "potential number of questionable products that brought into the market".

That's according to Aiden Corcoran, CEO of Airmedica, the largest manufacturer of hand sanitiser in Ireland.


He said that Irish products are heavily regulated and there are strict controls in place to ensure they are safe for consumers.

It comes after the Department of Agriculture advised members of the public to stop using all Virapro sanitation products.

It follows the earlier recall of the company's hand sanitiser after tests found it could cause irritation.

Mr Corcoran told Newstalk Breakfast with Susan Keogh that "not all hand sanitiser is the same".

He said: "Back in March, when we started to kick off a product we had and put it into the marketplace, we manufactured at the height of production just over half a million units a week.

"In March, there was nothing and we had people outside our factories nearly queuing outside the door because they wanted something to keep their home space safe.

"We were one of the first to market with a fully regulated hand sanitiser.

"What has happened since then there has been an influx in what I would call sanitiser from all over the world and I would suggest that people look at the pcs number and at the quality of that particular products."

Mr Corcoran said that "there's a huge demand worldwide for all sanitising products".

He said: "Since March, the world has been in flux from a supply chain point of view.

"Not all outside of the EU manufacturers have to comply with similar regulations.

"Therefore there can be questions over whether the integrity of the supply chain is actually there.

"Looking over what has happened over the last period of time, there has been a potential number of questionable products that were brought into the market.

"Remember there was a lot of pressure at the time to get something to actually help the situation.

"As we're progressing and evolving now, we must continuously ensure that supply chain is secure."


Mr Corocoran then explained how sanitation products are regulated in Ireland.

He said sanitiser and other detergents are biocides, which are products that contain microorganisms.

He said: "They have actives in them that kill microbes and these, if used in wrong quantities or in a bad way, can be harmful to the environment, or the person or even livestock.

"They are controlled, monitored and structured by regulation and that regulation is under the management of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM).

"That is European-wide regulations that we put in this country and we follow that particular system through the DAFM.

"That means that it's a system that monitors the supply chain and the effectiveness of manufacturers to comply and ensure that we have a safe and useable product in the marketplace.

"We have to make sure everything we get in is from a regulated source, it means the supply chain is integral and we can stand over a product and what ingredients we're getting in.

"We have to have internal labs, and testing for incoming and outgoing material, it's actually quite similar to medicinal products."

He added: "When we go on the journey of developing a product, we apply to the regulatory agency and we get a PCS number,

"We get reviewed with regard to our system and how we're set up to be able to manufacture.

"The PCS number then is a six-digit number that we have to ensure we put on our label."

DAFM then ensure that the correct labelling is on the product such as ingredients and what to do in case of ingestion.

He added that the product is then sent away to ensure it "does what it says on the tin" and follows European standards.

Mr Corcoran said that "any product that's on the Irish market should be regulated through DAFM and should have that Irish PCS number".

Main image: A man uses hand sanitiser gel. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

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