SASKATOON -- The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) has issued a safety alert for HealthCare Plus Hand Sanitizer, saying not to use it if pregnant or breastfeeding.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for hand sanitizer has significantly increased.

That has resulted in shortages of key ingredients used in hand sanitizer, such as pharmaceutical-grade ethanol, according to the SHA. 

To combat this, Health Canada has authorized manufacturers to use technical-grade ethanol in the hand sanitizer they produce. 

While the ingredient is safe to use, Health Canada said people using hand sanitizers with it may notice a stronger or different odour. 

Due to this change, Health Canada released a new risk assessment and requires a warning label stating, “Do Not Use If Pregnant or Breastfeeding” on products that contain technical-grade ethanol. 

HealthCare Plus Hand Sanitizer has this warning label.

The SHA recommends high risk people check the label before using hand sanitizer and to discontinue use of any products containing the ingredient. 

It also said people can also replace hand sanitizer by washing their hands with soap and warm water.