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COVID-19 FAQ: Alcohol-based Hand Sanitizer

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FAQ: ALCOHOL-BASED HAND SANITIZER 2 345-AYJ-01-IGMI © 2020, Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS) 1 877 494 WSPS (9777) | 905 614 1400 | Q. What's the difference, is there any toxicological aspects, and flammability aspects to consider between industrial and food grade ethanol is used in hand sanitizers? A. The alcohol-based hand sanitizers containing ethanol pose a minimal risk, due to the small quantity dispensed and used. The conditions of oxygen enrichment or presence of sparks or open flames are not present in most settings to cause fires. However, attention must be given to ensuring the hand sanitizer on the hands, has fully evaporated after being rubbed on hands. Avoid contact with open flames and sparks, including static sparks when hands are wet with hand sanitizer. It is advisable that dispensers of hand sanitizers containing ethanol follow the guidance of the Office of the Fire Marshal and the SDS provided by the manufacturer through the WHMIS program at your company: – Do not store dispensers close to ignition sources such as light switches, electrical outlets or radiant heaters. – Select locations for dispensers away from obstructions or fabric surfaces where fluid may drip or build up on fabric surfaces like carpets or walls. – Store bottles upright and ensure lid is closed to avoid spills. – Follow the Industrial Regulation and Fire Code requirements for bulk storage (e.g. use of fire safety cabinets). – Ethanol auto-ignites at temperatures above 300° C. © Workplace Safety & Prevention Services 2020. Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS) grants permission to approved end users to reproduce this document in whole or in part, provided its intended use is for non-commercial, educational purposes and that full acknowledgement is given to the WSPS. Approved end users are firms registered with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. WSPS reserves the right to extend this permission to other stakeholders and interested parties by express written permission upon application. WSPS extends no warranty to materials amended or altered by the end user. Under no circumstances is this document, or any portion thereof, to be duplicated for purposes of sale or for external reproduction or distribution. (Sample WSPS acknowledgement, "Reproduced or adapted from name of solution with permission of Workplace Safety & Prevention Services, Mississauga, Ontario.") The information contained in this reference material is distributed as a guide only. It is generally current to the best of our knowledge as at the revision date, having been compiled from sources believed to be reliable and to represent the best current opinion on the subject. No warranty, guarantee, or representation is made by WSPS as to the absolute correctness or sufficiency of any representation contained in this reference material. WSPS assumes no responsibility in connection therewith; nor can it be assumed that all acceptable safety measures are contained in this reference material, or that other or additional measures may not be required in particular or exceptional conditions or circumstances. Revised: May 2020 WSPS.CA

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