Aims: This study aims to determine the volatile chemical profile of ethanol-based hand sanitizer marketed in Brazil by HS-SPME/GC-MS.
Background: Ethanol-based hand sanitizer has been used to protect against coronavirus disease (COVID-19). In general, these formulations are prepared using a carbomer. In 2020 and 2021, the production of hand sanitizer has increased due to the COVID-19 epidemic. Therefore, it is important to know the composition of this formulation because certain molecules present in some alcoholic mixtures can cause health problems.
Methods: Ethanol-based hand sanitizer, AL1, AL2, BL1, CL1, DL1, EL1, FL1, and GL1 (ethanol derivative of fuel station), was purchased from manufacturers commercialized in Araguaína-TO and analyzed by HS-SPME/GC-MS for determining volatile chemical profile.
Results: The analyses showed different compositions for the ethanol-based hand sanitizers. Samples AL1 and AL2 contained isopropyl alcohol, ethyl acetate, benzene, ethane-1,1-diethoxy, limonene, and other compounds. Linear alkanes were also detected. Only ethyl acetate and ethane-1,1-diethoxy were detected in CL1, in addition to ethanol. Thus, it is the most suitable sample among those analyzed. The presence of benzene, alkanes, and other hydrocarbons may be associated with the use of fuel ethanol to prepare these sanitizers, as shown in the sample GL1. Benzene, xylene, and toluene were found in FL1. This sample is the most contaminated among those analyzed.
Conclusion: The chemical profile of commercial ethanol-based hand sanitizer from eight different samples sold in Araguaína-Brazil was established by GC-MS. Compounds like benzene and other alkanes were found in some samples. These results suggested possible contamination by alcohols unqualified in producing pharmaceutical substances. These analyzes are particularly relevant due to the pandemic situation to avoid COVID-19 proliferation. Benzene and other alkanes are harmful to human health and should be avoided in hand sanitizer production.
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