As coronavirus spreads and, along with it, misinformation and, in some cases, panic, there’s a shortage of hand sanitizer. Internet retailers such as eBay and Amazon have been policing their listings for people reselling hand sanitizer, often for over a hundred dollars for a bottle.
New Jersey authorities say that Manisha Bharade, who owns a 7-11 convenience store in River Vale, mixed water and a foaming sanitizer that is not intended for resale, to concoct a fake hand sanitizer.
Authorities allege that Bharade, 47, then put the mix into bottles, 14 of which she sold at $2.50 each, to an unknown number of customers.
That concoction caused chemical burns on at least four children. Three 10-year-old boys and one 11-year-old boy were injured. One of the children was hospitalized but later released and is expected to make a full recovery. The other three were not burned severely enough to require a trip to the hospital.
In a Facebook post, the River Vale Police Department provided pictures of the bogus and dangerous product and warned residents to be wary.
Bharade was issued a summons on charges of endangering the welfare of children and deceptive business practices.
New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal warned anyone else in The Garden State that profiteering from coronavirus fears, especially when it comes to deceiving and maiming people, won’t be tolerated.
“If you try to take advantage of our residents during a public health emergency, we will hold you accountable. Retailers who try to make a quick buck by exploiting others will face civil and criminal consequences,” he said.
Bharade isn’t believed to have made much money from the sale of the bogus product, and even believe she wasn’t trying to hurt anybody. But still, says an unidentified law enforcement official, mixing chemical concoctions is best left to the professionals.
“She wasn’t trying to make a lot of money and obviously didn’t mean to hurt anybody. But she’s no chemist,” the official said.
Though there’s currently a shortage of hand sanitizer, it’s easy to make your own, in a process that doesn’t involve risking a chemical burn. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, all you need to make your own hand sanitizer is aloe vera gel (of which there is no shortage) and either isopropyl rubbing alcohol or a high-alcohol-content (over 140 proof) liquor, such as vodka. Mix two parts gel to one part alcohol, and now you have your own homemade hand sanitizer.