Enforcement 6/21: Enforcement on disinfectants 2020

This report describes an enforcement project where the Swedish Chemicals Agency has inspected companies that sold hand and surface disinfectants on the Swedish market during the year 2020. The report is aimed at companies, authorities and consumers.

Due to the pandemic outbreak in 2020, an urgent demand for disinfectants arised. This led to an increase in the number of new manufacturers, importers and products on the market. The Swedish Chemicals Agency received a high increase in complaints about suspected non compliances in disinfectants. Although it was important to increase the availability of disinfectants on the Swedish market, it was just as important to ensure that available products were safe to use with respect to health risks and efficacy. In addition, they should comply with current legislation.

In this project we controlled the content in disinfectants as well as labelling. We controlled a total of 85 hand and surface disinfectants and from 72 companies. On 51 of the products a chemical analysis was performed.

  • For only nine of the 51 analysed disinfectants the concentration of active substance were in compliance with declared content on the label or other product information.
  • Three of the analysed products contained methanol, a substance that can be hazardous if swallowed or by dermal uptake.
  • Two of the analysed products did not contain an efficient concentration of ethanol.
    18 percent of the 85 products were non-compliant with regards to content. They either contained a non-allowed active substance, lacked product authorisation or contained too low concentration of active substance to be considered effective.
  • 63 percent of the controlled companies had not registered their company to the Swedish Chemical Agency´s Products Register.
  • Many of the products had deficiencies in the labelling. For products where tactile warning labeling were relevant, this was missing in 43 percent of the products.

39 percent of the controlled companies had non-compliances in their products that led to either environmental sanction charges or that a notice of suspected crime was sent to prosecutor.

Last published 21 June 2021