Health Canada is advising Canadians to stop using Akwaton International Multipurpose Wipes. These disinfectant wipes are labelled to contain polyhexamethylene guanidine hydrochloride (PHMG) at a concentration of 0.05% (500 ppm).
According to Health Canada, this ingredient is used as a biocidal disinfectant, but it is not approved for use in Canada. It can cause skin irritation or an allergic reaction, especially in vulnerable populations such as children.
Health Canada says this product has not been authorized, which means it has not been reviewed for its safety, efficacy or quality.
Since January 2019, Fosfaton-Akwaton International Ltd. has distributed an estimated 588 boxes (25 wipes per box) in Canada. In addition to not being authorized by Health Canada, the product expired in November 2015. As a result, says the health agency, the active ingredient may no longer be effective and the water in the product may have evaporated, raising the concentration of PHMG.
What Health Canada says consumers should do:
- Stop using this product. The agency says consumers should follow municipal or regional guidelines on how to dispose of chemicals and other hazardous waste. They may also return the product to the local pharmacy for proper disposal.
- Consult with a health care professional if you have used this product and have health concerns.
- Read product labels to verify that health products have been authorized for sale by Health Canada. Authorized health products have an eight-digit Drug Identification Number (DIN), Natural Product Number (NPN) or Homeopathic Drug Number (DIN-HM). You can also check whether products have been authorized for sale by searching Health Canada’s Drug Product Database and Licensed Natural Health Product Database.
- You can also report any health product adverse events or complaints to Health Canada.
What Health Canada is doing
- Health Canada says it has requested a stop sale and advertising of the unauthorized product to Canadians.
- If Health Canada identifies additional retailers or distributors, the department says it will take appropriate action and inform Canadians.