BUYER BEWARE

Safety concerns as homemade sanitizers, face masks hit market

Kebs warns that it is illegal to manufacture and sell products they have not tested.

In Summary

• The prices of face masks have gone up by more than 300 per cent

• Licensed retail stores ran out of the sanitizers and face masks approved by relevant authorities.

Consumers might well be using sanitisers and face masks that do not meet standards.

Both genuine and unscrupulous entrepreneurs have flooded the market with homemade sanitisers and face masks.

The Kenya Bureau of Standards warned that it was illegal to manufacture and offer for sale any product that has not been tested and approved.

“Kebs's mandate entails consumer protection against substandard products that might be harmful to health. Kebs conducts factory inspections, product certification, market surveillance activities to monitor the quality of products at varied points of sale,” the agency said in a statement.

The Star established that most licensed retail stores have run out of sanitisers and face masks approved by authorities. 

The remaining few were selling at three times the regular prices.

Manufacturers told the Star that social media provided a large audience following the coronavirus panic.

One of the manufactures told the Star that one required a mix of 100ml of surgical spirit and 2ml of glycerin to make a homemade sanitiser. The sanitiser would be used for only two weeks.

“You need 10ml of Jik regular in 500ml of water to make a surface disinfectant, which lasts a couple of months,” another manufacturer said.

Nairobi Health executive Hitan Majevda said that Kenyans can innovate, provided they do it the right way. 

“We do not have specific masks that we want to recommend at this juncture,” Majevda said.

“We have laws in place, which must be followed and the relevant authority will take action to ensure genuine goods remain in the market,” government on Tuesday.

Oguna warned that you will be risking your life when you use items that have not undergone safety check by the government authorities.

(edited by o. owino)