Dow to produce hand sanitizers for pharmacies and hospitals in Germany in support of COVID-19 pandemic

  • Production of 300 tons per month, first delivery on March 24
  • Pharmacies and hospitals to receive the hand sanitizers free of charge
  • In cooperation with Olin in the Stade I-Park

STADE, Lower Saxony, Germany – March 23, 2020 – Hygiene and "social distancing" are at the center of the fight against COVID-19. However, hand sanitizers are currently running out in Germany. The Federal Ministry of Health has now asked the industry for support.

Dow has assessed its capability to manufacture hand sanitizers at its facilities in Germany. The Stade site in Lower Saxony has been identified as having the necessary raw material handling, mixing, and bulk packaging equipment to conduct hand sanitizer production.

Since Friday, March 20, up to 15 tons of hand sanitizers have been produced daily – that is approximately 300 tons per month or up to 600,000 standard bottles of 500 ml each. The disinfectant is filled into Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBC) and will then made available to government authorities for distribution to pharmacies and hospitals free of charge. The first deliveries are expected to ship March 24 and will primarily go to the most urgently needed places in the district of Stade, but also to other regions, e. g. Berlin. In addition, further quantities of raw materials for hand sanitizers will also be produced in the coming weeks, which can then be delivered to around 377 clinics throughout Germany.

Dow does not regularly produce hand sanitizer, but a large proportion of the required ingredients are already produced at the company's German sites. The company intends to continue producing these and providing it to hospitals and pharmacies in need until the COVID-19 pandemic subsides or until disinfectants are no longer in short supply in Germany.

"COVID-19 is an unprecedented challenge that we all together are facing every day. I am very proud that within a few days only our colleagues have made it possible for us to make a small but very important contribution to overcoming the pandemic," says Ralf Brinkmann, president Dow Germany. "I would like to take this opportunity to thank the regulatory authorities, the German Chemical Association (VCI) and the Association of Pharmacists and Hospitals for their rapid and unbureaucratic corporation on this urgent request.”

Formulation of the World Health Organization (WHO)

The hand sanitizer is produced in accordance with WHO guidelines under the supervision of a pharmacist. It consists of 80 percent ethanol (Dow plans to use bioethanol here), four percent hydrogen peroxide solution and 15 percent water. Dow will also add one percent of glycerine for hand care.

The basic prerequisite for the production permit is the official and legal approval by the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA). After consultation with the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, the Federal Agency for Chemicals, i.e. the responsible department of the BAuA, has approved the production in accordance with the general ruling on the approval of biocidal products containing 2-propanol for hygienic hand disinfection in accordance with Article 55 paragraph 1 of Regulation (EU) No. 528/2012.

In order to enable an even distribution of the limited quantity, the Association of the Chemical Industry and the Association of Pharmacists and Hospitals are jointly responsible for coordination. Hospitals and pharmacies in need should contact the associations directly.

I-Park cooperation

The entire project was only made possible by the intensive cooperation between Dow and Olin in the I-Park Stade. The Olin plants located there contribute the glycerine required. The project is part of an initiative of the German Chemical association and the Association of Pharmacists and Hospitals in support of the COVID-19 pandemic.

About Dow

Dow (NYSE: DOW) combines global breadth, asset integration and scale, focused innovation and leading business positions to achieve profitable growth. The Company’s ambition is to become the most innovative, customer centric, inclusive and sustainable materials science company. Dow’s portfolio of plastics, industrial intermediates, coatings and silicones businesses delivers a broad range of differentiated science-based products and solutions for its customers in high-growth market segments, such as packaging, infrastructure and consumer care. Dow operates 109 manufacturing sites in 31 countries and employs approximately 36,500 people. Dow delivered sales of approximately $43 billion in 2019. References to Dow or the Company mean Dow Inc. and its subsidiaries. For more information, please visit or follow @DowNewsroom on Twitter.