The Santitizer Distributed To Chicago Police Officers May Not Work
Chicago, IL – The bottles of hand sanitizer the Chicago Police Department (CPD) doled out to officers on Wednesday are over a decade old.
The officers were provided with the Safetec-brand solution during roll calls in an effort to help curb the spread of COVID-19, WGN reported.
Concerned officers said they believed the product’s labeling appeared old, so they contacted the company to learn more.
That’s when a Safetec sales manager told them that the product had been discontinued in 2012, WGN reported.
Lab tests indicate that the solution may only be effective for three years after it was produced. As a result, the bottles the officers were provided with have all been expired for at least five years.
“Our hand sanitizer does not have an expiration date because it is an [over-the-counter] product without a dosage limit,” Safetec said in a statement, according to WBBM. “That being said we only have 3 years of stability testing so we cannot guarantee the hand sanitizer’s effectiveness past 3 years.”
“That product was discontinued and last produced in 2012 so we cannot guarantee its effectiveness,” the company confirmed.
When questioned by WBBM, the department said that the expired hand sanitizer was all that was available due to a nationwide shortage.
“The health of our officers is of the utmost importance, and we are doing everything we can to get additional supplies,” the CPD told the news outlet in a statement. “The hand sanitizer distributed to officers was the only supply that was made available to CPD.”
The department acknowledged that the situation is not “ideal,” and said that it has placed orders for additional supplies.
Another city spokesperson insisted that the sanitizing solution is perfectly fine as long as the bottles remained sealed after they were manufactured, WGN reported.
Chicago Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Vice President Patrick Murray said that the CPD is placing officers at risk.
“I got an email stating this hand sanitizer is five years old, it’s no good,” Murray told WGN. “These coppers are putting their hands on people, making arrests, and using hand sanitizer that doesn’t work. I think it’s a terrible response by the City of Chicago. They’re not looking out for the best interests of officers who are responding to these calls.”