Fake disinfectants sold in Romania

There are several disinfectants on the Romanian market that contain less or none of the active substance indicated on the product’s label, a test done at the request of the Turnul Sfatului portal reveals. The portal from Nagyszeben (Sibiu) randomly chose eight disinfectant gels, soaps and products used on different surfaces and asked a chemical research institute from Bucharest to analyze them. According to the results, several of the products were fake, Hungarian newspaper, Krónika reports.

The biggest problem was with the disinfectant gel called Hygienium, manufactured by Grande Gloria Production. According to the product’s label, the gel contains 70 percent ethyl alcohol; however, an analysis revealed that it has no alcohol at all. Another product, also manufactured by Grande Gloria Production, which should also contain 70 percent ethyl alcohol contained only 57.2 percent of the active substance. The company said that their products are being falsified.

Similar issues were found with Prestisept, a disinfectant soap: It contained less active substance than indicated on the label. According to experts, during the coronavirus pandemic, the demand for disinfectant products has increased significantly, and by adding less active substances to the products, the manufacturers are able to produce and sell more of them. As Krónika reveals, the competent authorities have approved about 200 new products since June 2020, and as of the beginning of this year, approximately 400 disinfectants were available on the Romanian market. However, the approved and distributed products are rarely investigated, Krónika stresses, adding that no state company had examined a single disinfectant.

According to the research institute Turnul Sfatului, at the request of private individuals, they analyzed several other products as well at the beginning of 2021. The results were very similar, indicating that the Romanian market is overflowing with fake or misleading products.

Health Minister Ioana Mihăilă announced that she asked the ministry’s committee on disinfectants to investigate the situation. She also stressed the importance of such inspections, adding that they need to invest in the development of specialized laboratories at the National Institute of Public Health and in the medical officers carrying out such investigations.

The ministry also announced on Monday evening that it had ordered an inspection of the companies involved. The ministry added that during last year and the beginning of this year, they had found several hundred products that did not meet quality requirements.

Five years ago, there was a similar issue in Romania when authorities realized that the Hexi Pharma disinfectant company was selling heavily diluted products. Charges were filed against the management of the company, who were found guilty of fraud, document forgery and participating in the crime of denial of disease control. According to the Bucharest Court ruling, between 2010 and 2016, the company mislead the management of 340 hospitals by selling them fake products. The investigation revealed that the heavily diluted products were sold at a price that was 10 times more than the market price, Krónika reports.

Title image: The approved and distributed disinfectant products are rarely analyzed in the country; no state company had examined a single disinfectant over the last two years. Photo: termekmix.hu

Author: Orsi Sarány