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For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
David Paulson, 410-576-6357
dpaulson@oag.state.md.us

AG Gansler Secures Settlement with Hand Sanitizer Company
Manufacturer lacked proof for claims that product "kills 99.99 % of germs"


Baltimore, MD ( Sept. 21, 2012) - Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced today that his Consumer Protection Division has reached a settlement with California-based CleanWell Company and OhSo Clean, Inc., ("CleanWell") that concludes an investigation of CleanWell's claims about its hand sanitizer products. The agreement resolves allegations that the company engaged in unfair and deceptive trade practices by representing that CleanWell hand sanitizer is "proven to kill 99.99% of germs that can make you sick," and is "proven to kill 99.99% of germs including MRSA, Salmonella, Staph, and E. coli," without adequate substantiation for those statements.

"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," said Attorney General Gansler. "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 has agreed to change how it markets its hand sanitizer products and to refrain from any false, misleading or deceptive promotion of its hand sanitizer products. The settlement requires CleanWell to pay $100,000 in penalties and costs, prohibits the company from representing that its hand sanitizer can prevent disease or infection, and bars CleanWell from asserting that its product can kill any specific percentage (e.g., "99.99%) of germs. CleanWell also may not make claims about the effectiveness of its hand sanitizer unless it has scientific proof to support those claims.

   

Attorney General of Maryland 1 (888) 743-0023 toll-free / TDD: (410) 576-6372
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