Michigan Distillers Cleared to Produce Hand Sanitizer to Help with COVID-19 Response

Contact: David Harns mediainfo@michigan.gov

Governor Whitmer announced today that Michigan’s licensed distilleries are now permitted to produce ethanol-based hand sanitizers in order to help meet demand as the state of Michigan mitigates the spread of COVID-19.

 

“Even in times of crisis, Michiganders have shown their willingness to step up and help each other,” said Governor Whitmer. “I am profoundly grateful for the Michigan distilleries who are putting people before profit and are using their production facilities to make hand sanitizer during this COVID-19 emergency.”

 

Yesterday, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) relaxed their regulations in order to allow beverage distillers to make denatured alcohol. This production is not normally permitted unless a distillery has an industrial manufacturing permit, which no Michigan distiller currently has. Under the relaxed rules, Michigan distillers can make denatured alcohol without the normally required permit.

 

These rules were approved through June 30, 2020, with the possibility for extension as necessary. Any existing Distilled Spirits Permittee (DSP) can immediately commence production of hand sanitizer or distilled spirits (ethanol) for use in hand sanitizer without having to obtain authorization first.

 

All TTB-permitted DSPs may manufacture hand sanitizer products that are comprised of:

 

  • denatured or undenatured ethanol
  • glycerol (not less than 1.45% of the finished hand sanitizer product on a volume basis), and
  • hydrogen peroxide (not less than 0.125% of the finished hand sanitizer product on a volume basis) 

 

The best prevention for viruses, such as influenza, the common cold or COVID-19 is: 

  • If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19, call your health care provider. If you do not have a health care provider, call the nearest hospital.     
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer.       
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.       
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.       
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.       
  • If you are sick, stay home, and avoid contact with others.      
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others when in a public setting.     

Patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:   

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

 

Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.