A British firm said that it had solved a potential hygiene problem
for Muslims by inventing an alcohol-free handwash that has been
certified as “halal”.
Amid efforts to prevent the spread of swine flu and superbugs,
there have been reports of some Muslims refusing to use alcohol-based
germ-killing gels on religious grounds.
The Muslim Council of Britain has ruled the use of alcohol gels is
permissible under Islam, on the basis that they are not an intoxicant
and that the alcohol used is synthetic.
But the makers of Byotrol, which they also claim is more effective
and longer-lasting than standard NHS cleaners, said the “halal”
endorsement would provide extra reassurance.
Mohammad Nazir, chairman of the European Halal Development Agency
(EHDA) which issued the certification, said it was “excellent news”.
“The EHDA certification is not just about non-alcohol but also
about all the ingredients being from halal sources, combined with the
fact that the production process conforms to halal requirements,” he
said Inventor Stephen Falder said: “This is a massive step forward for
hospital hygiene, not just for Muslims but for all healthcare workers.
”Alcoholic hand-washes may soon be a thing of the past: nurses
complain of dry and damaged skin caused by alcohol hand-wash; prisoners
may consume it; and many Muslims will not touch alcohol.
”To top it all, it isn’t even effective when you consider that it
stops working as soon as it evaporates – which is almost immediately.”
By Joe Churcher