Shortages Delay Production of Hand Sanitizers
Americans are finding themselves with a never-before-seen shortage of paper and cleaning products, such as disinfectants and hand sanitizers.
Traditional cleaning products simply cannot be found at supermarkets across the country. Store owners say they do not know when new shipments will arrive.
Washing hands with soap and using household cleaning products may help with personal protection against the coronavirus. Americans often turn to disinfectant liquid or wipes for use outside the home, in vehicles and public spaces.
Wipes are necessary for people required to work outside the home, such as those employed by supermarkets, hospitals or drug stores. But there appears to be little chance of sanitizers returning to stores in large enough amounts to be useful.
VOA spoke with a leading U.S. manufacturer of health and personal cleaning products to explain the shortage.
"The... demand for hand sanitizers was never expected by anyone in the industry, and for that reason, none of the players in the market were prepared," notes Rakesh Tammabattula. He serves as Chief Executive Officer of QYK Brands. The California based company owns businesses such as Dr. J's Natural and Glowyy hand sanitizer.
Tammabattula said that no one could have expected the sudden demand, and importance, of sanitizers. He told VOA that the unexpectedly high demand has caused severe shortages of some raw, unprocessed materials like pure alcohol. Most sanitizers are made of pure alcohol mixed with oils or gelling substances.
In the past, manufacturers only bought as much alcohol as they needed because of its chemical properties. Now, there is not enough to meet the increased demand.
There is also a shortage of plastic for bottles.
The increasing demands have caused the prices of alcohol and other ingredients to go up about 200 percent, Tammabattula said. He added that the timelines of production have been extended to six to eight weeks. Before the pandemic, it was two or three weeks. He noted that his company will be completely out of alcohol in two weeks.
The shortage of normal ingredients for sanitizers has led to searches for substitute ingredients. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently eased its rules to let manufacturers use ethanol alcohol for hand sanitizers during the shortage. The health crisis has sent the prices of ethanol sharply lower, hurting U.S. farmers and ethanol industries that make alcohol from corn. The new FDA rule could help both farmers and ethanol producers.
Some distilleries have turned to producing sanitizers from their own alcohol to help fight the shortage. One whisky distillery in Atlanta, Georgia, said it is giving away free hand sanitizers at its factory.
Some people are creating their own sanitizers with oils or lemons, but there is no evidence they work.
Experts advise against homemade sanitizers, saying these products could be harmful or useless. A real sanitizer should have at least 60 percent alcohol, they note.
The shortage of cleaning products has led many sellers to advertise wipes, sanitizers, air purifiers and other products online. Security experts have advised people to avoid buying them since many are useless or will never arrive.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has the best advice: Wash your hands with soap and hot water as often as possible.
I'm Pete Musto.
The water shortage in this country is potentially catastrophic
We need a positive programme of crime prevention.
No alcohol is allowed on the premises.
We advertised for staff in a local newspaper.
5.In the past, manufacturers only bought as much alcohol as they needed because of its chemical properties.
In the past 过去
My children have wounded me in the past.
In the past this process of transition has often proven difficult.
6.Most sanitizers are made of pure alcohol mixed with oils or gelling substances.
be made of 由...制成
This suit is made of very good material.
Some bowls were made of pottery and wood.
全美各地的超市都根本买不到这些基础的清洁产品 。商店老板表示，他们不知道新货什么时候能补上 。
用肥皂洗手以及使用家居清洁产品可能有助于防止个人感染冠状病毒 。美国人经常购买消毒液和湿巾，以便在户外、车内以及公共场合使用 。
对于超市、医院和药店员工这类需要出门工作的人来说，湿巾是必需品 。但是，消毒剂大量上市的可能似乎很渺茫 。
拉克什·塔玛巴图拉指出：“业内人士从未预料到对洗手液的需求，因此，市场上的厂商们也都措手不及 。”他是QYK Brands公司的首席执行官 。这家总部位于加利福尼亚州的公司拥有J博士天然洗手液和Glowyy洗手液等品牌 。
塔玛巴图拉表示，没有人预料到消毒剂的突发性需求和重要性 。他对美国之音表示，出人意料的高需求导致如纯酒精类待加工原料严重短缺 。大多数消毒剂由用纯酒精和油类物质或凝胶物质混合而成 。
过去，由于其化学性质，制造商采购的酒精量仅满足所需 。如今，没有足够的酒精来满足日益增长的需求 。
塔玛巴图拉表示，持续增长的需求导致酒精和其它材料的价格上涨了约200% 。他还表示，产品工期已经延长至6到8周 。在冠状病毒大流行之前，产品工期仅2-3周 。他指出，他所在的公司将在两周内彻底用完酒精 。
由于消毒剂常规成分的短缺，人们开始寻找其它替代品 。美国食品药品监督管理局最近放宽了规定，允许制造商在短缺期间采用乙醇酒精制作洗手液 。这场健康危机使得乙醇价格急剧下降，损害了美国农民以及以玉米为原料制造酒精的乙醇行业 。美国食品药品监督管理局的新规定可能对农民和乙醇生产商有帮助 。
一些酿酒厂已经使用自有酒精生产消毒剂，帮助解决短缺问题 。佐治亚州亚特兰大市一家威士忌酒厂表示，将在工厂内免费发放洗手液 。
专家建议不要使用自制消毒剂，称这些产品可能有害或是无效 。他们指出，真正的消毒剂至少应该含有60%的酒精 。
清洁产品的短缺导致许多卖家在网上大肆宣传湿巾、消毒剂、空气净化器和其它产品 。安全专家建议人们不要购买这些产品，因为其中大多数都无效或是永远收不到货 。