Swine flu leading to Purell shortage


The swine flu outbreak has caused such a demand for hand sanitizers that the makers and distributors of Purell are warning individual consumers and large users such as hospitals that limited supplies of Purell may be available across the country.

The company that invented Purell, Gojo Industries Inc. of Akron, Ohio, is asking its customers not to hoard the product. The need will be met with increased production, wrote Mark Lerner, president and chief operating officer at Gojo, on the company's Web site.

"In fact, stockpiling could cause an actual shortage which, in turn, could threaten public health," Lerner wrote.

Hand sanitizers are fast becoming the go-to item in the fight against being infected by the H1N1 virus. Small dispensers of the gel can be found almost everywhere. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends washing hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing, and using alcohol-based hand cleaners such as Purell and other products.

Originally published