The warning follows increasing number of online traders claiming product donations to healthcare providers which is not a guarantee of standards or suitability
THE government has warned people buying face masks or hand sanitisers online to be cautious of traders claiming to have donated such items to hospitals.
The advise come from the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission which has come across a number of such claims made by online outlets.
Senior government official Liz Canavan said: "Some online traders appear to be informing consumers that the Personal Protective Products they're selling have been donated to hospitals and other healthcare providers.
"In many cases it is unclear as to whether or not these donated protective products are suitable for use in health care settings and should not be considered as an indication of the suitability or standards," she added.
Ms Canavan said that people considering buying hand sanitising products who have concerns can check the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine's register for biocidal products.
Only the notified and authorised products listed on the Department's register are legal for sale and use in Ireland.
She urged consumers who encounter "misleading practices" or "experiences difficulties with a trader" to contact the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission by visiting their website CCPC.ie where they can be advised of their rights.
According to the CCPC, an increasing number of online traders appear to be informing consumers that personal protective products they are selling have been donated to hospitals and other healthcare providers.
In many cases, it is unclear as to whether or not these donated protective products are suitable for use in healthcare settings. The CCPC is concerned that such claims are likely to influence consumers when they are considering purchasing such products that they are of a suitable standards.
Mistaking the level of protection the PPE offers, they say, may present a significant risk to consumers.
If a consumer is considering buying hand sanitising products and they are concerned, they can check The Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine’s register for biocidal products. Only notified and authorised products listed on the Department’s register are legal for sale and use in Ireland.
The European Commission has also recently published advice to consumers, it says that consumers should be cautious if traders: