News Coronavirus Reaching for this brand of sanitiser? Choice says ‘stop using it immediately’

Reaching for this brand of sanitiser? Choice says ‘stop using it immediately’

Hand sanitiser is one of the basic lines of defence against picking up the virus. Photo: Shuttershock
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Australians have been urged not to buy a popular hand sanitiser sold in petrol stations nationwide after it failed independent lab testing.

Consumer advocate Choice said anyone who has already purchased the White Knight antibacterial hand sanitiser should stop using it immediately as it does not contain enough alcohol to be effective.

Choice senior campaigner Dean Price said the sanitiser, sold online and at United petrol stations, claimed to contain 75 per cent alcohol. But lab testing found it contained only 52 per cent.

Choice found the White Knight sanitiser had insufficient alcohol to be effective. Photo: Choice

Mr Price said the amount of alcohol in the product was “well below” the amount required to be effective against the coronavirus and similar viruses.

“If you’ve bought White Knight sanitiser, we recommend you stop using it immediately,” he said.

White Knight Sanitation, an associated company of United Petroleum, told Choice the product would be withdrawn from sale immediately.

This is not the first time a hand sanitiser – touted as a vital addition to COVID safety measures – has failed to meet independent testing.

In July, Choice revealed that a hand sanitiser sold by Mosaic Brands returned a result of just 23 per cent alcohol.

Victorian health authorities have included hand sanitiser in their coronavirus safety messaging.

Concerns have been raised about which hand sanitisers to include in such “essential” kits as there is little regulation of the product.

Choice has tested 27 other sanitisers and found them to be effective. View the full list here.

Mr Price urged the federal government to impose industry standards so consumers did not buy and use ineffective products.

He said labelling and spot testing were needed to rebuild customer trust in buying hand sanitiser to protect themselves and their families against harmful bacteria.

“People need to know that what is on the label is what is actually in the bottle,” he said.

In May, United Petroleum advertised the White Knight sanitiser on its Facebook page, claiming the product “kills 99.9 per cent of germs”.

According to Choice, to be effective a hand sanitiser should contain between 60 and 80 per cent alcohol, depending on the type of alcohol used.

And if the product claims to be made using a formula from the World Health Organisation it must contain at least 80 per cent ethanol or 75 per cent isopropyl alcohol.

United Petroleum said it would respond to questions raised by The New Daily on Thursday afternoon.