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SABS comments on the illegal use of its Mark on sanitizers

ENSURE CLAIMS THAT SANITIZERS HAVE BEEN SABS APPROVED ARE VALID

The South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) has advised consumers to verify whether the producers of sanitizers, that claim to be SABS Approved or carry the SABS Mark Scheme number, are valid claims. While SABS has certified a wide range of products such as disinfectants, sanitizers, medical equipment and masks, there are some unscrupulous manufacturers that are making false claims.

Certified sanitizer products are certified against South African National Standards (SANS) 490 and SANS 1853 in order to carry the SABS Approved Mark.

“The SABS has received numerous queries regarding the fraudulent use of the SABS Approved Mark on products and while we have taken legal action against the illegal use of our Mark we urge South African consumers to remain vigilant and not to use untested and uncertified products. Uncertified products could be dangerous for a number of reasons that include: adverse reactions to humans and the environment, the harmful effects of unidentified ingredients, bacterial and microbial impurities as well as simply just not being suitable for use on oneself,” says Jodi Scholtz, Lead Administrator of SABS.

Scholtz advised consumers to buy SABS Approved sanitizers.

She said, “The SABS Approved sanitisers will bear the SABS Approved logo and should have one or both the SANS 490 and SANS 1853 Marks below the SABS logo. The Mark can be affixed onto the bottle with a sticker or be imprinted on the bottle. The product must clearly stipulate the batch number, the expiry date, the ingredients and the percentage of the alcohol used. SABS is also committed to work with other regulators such as the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications, the Department of Health and the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority to ensure that safe, tested and certified products are sold within South Africa.”

All South African National Standards (SANS) are developed by various industry experts, technical specialists, academics, practitioners, government officials and citizens. The technical committee (TC), SABS/TC 1022 is responsible for a wide range of standards within the field of antiseptics, disinfectants and detergent disinfectants. Of the 37 standards published by the TC, the two that are relevant to hand sanitizers which are alcohol-based, are contained in SANS 490 and SANS 1853.

The SABS is aware that there are a large number of manufacturers who are fraudulently using the SABS Approved mark on their products and we have instituted legal proceedings against these infringements, however the SABS does not have the authority to instigate product recalls.

“While we regularly monitor the abuse of the Mark Scheme we appreciate the reports from the public. The SABS has been inundated with reports of fraudulent use by manufacturers. We have also noticed a rise in the number of fake test reports, SABS Permits and the incorrect SABS Approved logos on products.” says Scholtz.

Consumers are advised to check the certification status of companies on the SABS website. The SABS site (https://www.sabs.co.za/Certification/certificationfilter.asp) lists all manufacturers who are currently certified with us.

About the standards

  • SANS 490, published in 2013 is specific standard that addresses alcohol-based hand rubs for the purposes of disinfecting
  • SANS 1853, published in 2009 and revised in 2017, provides the specifications for disinfectants, detergent-disinfectants and antiseptics for use in the food industry. It is important to note that SANS 1853 also references SANS 490

Why buy SABS Approved sanitizers?

The term SABS Approved refers only to products that have been submitted for certification and have successfully attained the product certification scheme offered by the SABS. The product would have undergone the following:

  • Vigorous testing to ensure that it complies with SANS 490 or SANS 1853
  • Audited regularly over a period of time with samples being taken from the factory and/or retail stores. These tests ensure that the product is fit for purpose, safe for use and that the product is consistent
  • In addition to meeting the requirements of the standard/s relevant to the product, the manufacturer will have, at the very least a basic quality management system to ensure that the product is consistent throughout the production process

Ends:

Issued by:
Roshelle Pillay; Media Relations; Roshelle.pillay@sabs.co.za;0124286878, 0610300133