ANALYSIS OF HAND SANITIZER PRODUCTS USING HANDHELD 1064 nm RAMAN
The use of hand sanitizers is becoming part of the everyday norm, and global demand has grown exponentially over the recent months. Hand sanitizers in liquid and gel formulations are being produced by manufacturing companies around the world. But what if these products consumers think are providing protection actually contain hazardous chemicals or fail to provide the protection they are being relied upon for? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is recommended that consumers use alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60 percent ethanol. However, as the market need has soared at a rapid rate, manufacturers have struggled to keep up with demand. Because of this, products with inadequate levels of alcohol have flooded the marketplace. In addition, the shortage of alcohol-based hand sanitizers has allowed for the introduction of potentially hazardous replacements or products that have an inadequate level of alcohol into the production process. These dangerous chemicals include methanol, 1-propanol, even petroleum, and cause adverse effects on the human body if absorbed through the skin or ingested—including blindness, cardiac issues, effects on the central nervous system and even death.
Regulatory agencies, such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), are now monitoring and testing the influx of temporary preparations of hand sanitizers that are manufactured in the U.S., as well as those entering the U.S., by developing guidance documents, issuing import warning lists, and implementing their own testing that utilizes Rigaku handheld Raman technology. There is a global focus on hand sanitizer manufacturing, quality control, and confirmation and the handheld Raman can be a key tool during all stages of quality analysis.