FDA sends warning to Purell for claiming it can prevent Flu and Ebola

The FDA has issued a warning to Purell over the hand sanitizer brand’s claims on the prevention of diseases. The parent company, Gojo Industries has stated that it will comply with the issued warning.

Calling out to the marketing claims of Purell, the FDA, in its warning letter, has asked the company for the sanitizer’s intended use.

According to the letter, the statements in the FAQ section on Purell’s website indicate the reduction and prevention of Flu, Ebola, etc. The message leads to a clear indication of the purpose of the use of the sanitizer.

Moreover, Purell also took to mention that the FDA does not allow the sanitizer companies to get ideas viral. However, later the brand explained that the use of alcohol inactivates or kills the enveloped viruses. Besides, the influenza virus is enveloped in nature.

A study conducted in 2018 did state that ethanol was active against 21 types of viruses. And, Purell’s sanitizer consists of eighty percent of ethanol.

However, according to a study in 2019, the effectiveness of alcohol-based sanitizers has reduced over time. Moreover, the sanitizers almost took four long minutes for the elimination of the flu virus. While an antiseptic cleanser took around thirty seconds to show its effectiveness against the flu viruses.

A specialist with infectious diseases, Peter Gulick from Michigan State University took to express the most effective method. The specialist from the College of Osteopathic Medicine said that sanitizers are effective only in the absence of soap and water. However, soap and water are the most effective means to prevent diseases.

The letter has given 15 days to Purell to make corrections in the statements. Furthermore, the violation of the warning could even lead to legal action in the absence of further notices. 

The company has been making changes following the letter.