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Safety and efficacy of disinfectants revealed in new study

29 July 2014

Despite their necessity in maintaining public health, disinfectants can trigger a host of adverse health reactions, such as asthma and other respiratory illnesses. They also have the capacity to cause damage to the environment, particularly aquatic life. With little information on the potential impact and efficacy of disinfectants, consumer choice often comes down to guesswork. To address this, SF Environment together with the Responsible Purchasing Network tested a range of disinfectants, and have released their findings.

The in-depth analysis looked at safety, germ-killing ability, compatibility with various surfaces, and environmental impacts. The active ingredients in disinfectants were tested, along with 33 disinfectant products and 24 surface sanitizers. Non-chemical options, such as microfiber mops and cloths, were also included in the study.

Recommendations stemming from the study include buying products as concentrates rather than pre-diluted forumlations to save on shipping fuel, cleaning surfaces well to reduce the frequency that disinfectants are required, and limiting the use of disinfectants to areas and objects where people are most likely to touch, such as door knobs. It was found that the highest scoring products contain hydrogen peroxide, lactic acid, caprylic acid, or citric acid as active ingredients.

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