Not sure which hand sanitizers are safe and effective? Look for the Green Seal certification

by Brianna Crandall — September 21, 2020 — Green Seal, a global nonprofit authority on safer and more sustainable cleaning and facility care products, has just announced that it is now certifying alcohol-based hand sanitizers that meet the highest standard for health and safety in the marketplace amid growing consumer concerns about toxic products.

With the COVID-19 pandemic spurring many first-time producers to enter the market, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned consumers to avoid more than 200 hand sanitizer products because of incorrect formulations and high levels of hazardous ingredients, including methanol (wood alcohol) and the contaminant 1-propanol. Meanwhile, even when properly formulated, hand sanitizers available on the US market can include hazardous ingredients linked to cancer, allergies, skin and eye irritation and other harmful health effects — even if they have an ecolabel.

Green Seal’s new hand sanitizer certification standard, created with input from public health and industry experts, screens 100% of the product formula for carcinogens, reproductive toxins, skin irritants, phthalates, parabens and contaminants. All Green Seal-certified products must meet strict performance testing requirements to ensure effectiveness.

Green Seal CEO Doug Gatlin explained:

There is a critical market gap right now where buyers know to beware of toxic or ineffective hand sanitizers but are hard-pressed to quickly and easily identify safer options. Green Seal certification gives consumers, purchasers and facility managers confidence that they are buying a hand sanitizer that has been independently verified to the highest standard for health, safety and effectiveness.

Independent verification by a trusted authority

Green Seal’s hand sanitizer certification standard is the nonprofit’s latest initiative to harness its expertise to provide products, services and guidance that help protect people from both COVID-19 and negative health impacts from toxic chemicals.

  • Green Seal Guidelines for Safer COVID-19 Cleaning and Disinfection for schools and workplaces have been adopted by commercial cleaning companies servicing more than 1 billion square feet of space.
  • SEIU 32BJ, said to be the largest union of property service workers in the US, has partnered with Green Seal on COVID-19 training for its members.
  • More than 30,000 Green Seal certified products are used in offices, schools and homes each day, including cleaning products and hand soaps critical to decontaminating buildings and protecting people.

To learn more about Green Seal’s certification for Hand Sanitizers and Green Seal-certified products, visit the group’s website.

Since 1989, the global nonprofit has applied rigorous standards for health, environmental sustainability and product performance to its certification programs to empower better purchasing decisions. Green Seal reports it has certified thousands of products, services and spaces from hundreds of leading companies including 3M, Ecolab, Georgia-Pacific, Hilton, Westin, Marriott and Staples, and is specified by countless schools, government agencies, businesses and institutions.