Hand sanitizer company agrees to pay penalty over unproven claims

Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler has reached a settlement with California-based CleanWell Company and OhSo Clean Inc, the makers of a hand sanitizer that claimed it was "proven to kill 99.99 percent of germs that can make you sick."

Gansler's investigation revealed no actual proof that those statements were true. CleanWell must pay $100,000 in penalties and costs, and will no longer be allowed to assert that its hand sanitizer can prevent disease or infection.

“Companies that make unsubstantiated claims about their products deceive consumers into spending their hard-earned money on something that may not live up to its billing,” Gansler said in a statement. “With flu season approaching, consumers should know that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, washing with soap and water is the best way to reduce germs on your hands and that hand sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs.”

CleanWell will not be allowed to assert that its product kills a specific percentage of germs. Any statements the company makes about the effectiveness of the product from now on must be backed by scientific study.

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