How safe is your Covid killing disinfectant?

Looking for the best and safest Coronavirus Covid-19 killing disinfectant? There are four hundred and sixty nine products on EPA List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), using thirty three different primary listed active ingredients. You have choices, but how do you pick which is best for your business? Consider the active ingredients, methods of application, application locations, price, risks, and environment.

Which of these key characteristics do you need?

  • Food contact surfaces, no wipe
  • Ready to use or dilutable
  • Kill rate 1 to 10 minutes
  • Dispense with manual hand spray, mop, fogger/mister, HVAC
  • Environmental impact
  • Wait time for return to environment (for example, if fogging)

Top EPA registered Covid killing disinfectant active ingredients:

  1. 46% use Quaternary ammonium
  2. 14% use hydrogen peroxide
  3. 14% use Sodium hypochlorite

How safe is Quaternary ammonium?

Quaternary ammonium are positively charged surface-active agents, independent of pH level, so they bind readily to the negatively charged surface of most microbes. QAC’s may be used on food-contact surfaces if the Materials Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) lists and provides instruction. The chemical structure of ammonium is a nitrogen atom with four hydrogen atoms attached around it. Quaternary ammonium is created when each of those four hydrogen atoms are replaced with some combination of four other organic chains or rings. Because of the limitless number of possible combinations, there are many different versions of quaternary ammonium.

“I’m definitely very concerned,” says Libin Xu, a biochemist at the University of Washington. The public, he adds, may know that quats kill bacteria and viruses. But through his research, Xu has found that quats can also disrupt key cellular pathways.

The California Department of Public Health July 17, 2020 COVID-19 guidance for schools specifies avoiding disinfectant products that contain asthma-causing chemicals, including quats, which are lung irritants. Quats linger on surfaces long after cleaning, which means repeated exposure every time you touch that countertop, desk or doorknob.

ESG Safe Analysis on Quaternary ammonium:

Avoid using products with Quats as the primary active ingredient at home and work.


What are “Quats” and why are they a problem?

This series will be continued.

ESG Safe curates B2B products and services to improve public safety. They are best in class, often innovative game changers, and are available for immediate delivery or have short lead times. For a disinfecting solution that kills coronavirus, bacteria, black mold and that’s safe enough to also create potable water, contact us.

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