BOSTON (WWLP) – State Attorney General Maura Healey has sued an Illinois-based company for selling fake hand sanitizer to school districts in Massachusetts.
The suit filed in Suffolk Superior Court alleges that the school health corporation misled districts into purchasing $100,000 worth of their product last year. The company claimed the hand sanitizer could kill COVID-19 and provide a multi-hour barrier against the virus.
“This company exploited fears around a growing public health crisis in order to profit by selling a bogus hand sanitizer to schools looking to stop the spread,” said AG Healey. “We are suing to hold this company accountable for these illegal actions that put the health of our children, teachers, and staff at risk.”
The product was found to not have any of the key ingredients of hand sanitizer. None of the school affected were in western Massachusetts.
School districts include Framingham, Winchester, Nahant, Swampscott and New Bedford, the Bridgewater-Raynham and Wachusett Regional School Districts and the City of Malden between March 2020 and July 2020.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that hand sanitizers that use any active ingredients other than alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, or benzalkonium chloride are not legally marketed as hand sanitizers and consumers should avoid their use. According to the AG’s complaint, Theraworx Protect contains colloidal silver, an ingredient the FDA ruled in 1999 was neither safe nor effective in the treatment or prevention of any disease.
The AG’s complaint is seeking triple damages, civil penalties, attorneys’ fees and costs of its investigation and with those proceeds the AG’s Office plans to reimburse affected cities and towns.