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FDA Looks at Microbial Contaminants in Alcohol Wipes and Skin Prep Products

EMSL Analytical provides consumer product testing services to identify microbial contaminants in all types of consumer products.


Cinnaminson, NJ, December 28, 2012

Earlier this month, NBC News published a report about whether or not prep products used to swab a person’s skin before they receive a shot or surgery should be required to be sterile.  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has gotten involved and is holding a public hearing to discuss these products and ways to prevent exposure to dangerous bacteria.

According to the article, current regulation written in the 1970s assumed antiseptic solutions used in conjunction with the wipes and pads would be sufficient to kill microbial contaminants.  This assumption appears to be flawed after several high profile cases in the last few years that lead to massive recalls of the products used in both healthcare settings and people’s homes.  One tragic case involved the the death of a 2 year old Houston boy that died of an infection that has been blamed on contaminated alcohol wipes. 

The bacteria causing many of the problems, Bacillus cereus, has been linked to everything from superficial skin infections to serious complication from the recent outbreaks.  Past recalled products were sold in the United States, Canada, and Europe.

EMSL Analytical, a leading provider of testing services for consumer products, has been helping manufacturers for years assure that products are safe for use or consumption. “Tragic cases involving contaminated products happen far too often,” reported Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical.   “At EMSL Analytical, manufacturers, the public, and healthcare providers can rely on our expert staff to help them ensure that products are safe.  From shelf life testing and contamination source tracking to sterility and sanitation validation, EMSL provides testing solutions.”
To learn more about microbial contaminants or other consumer product testing services, please visit or, call (800)220-3675 or email .
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public.  The laboratory is FDA registered, ISO 17025 and GMP compliant.


 alcohol wipes
 skin prep
 consumer products

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