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Sustainable Purchasing Guides for Disinfectants

Use this Guide When Purchasing

  • Disinfectants for non-porous surfaces (e.g. tile, metal, glass, rigid plastic, laminated surfaces, etc.)

Disinfectants are inherently toxic, as they are formulated to kill living organisms. As a result, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) and California Department of Pesticide Regulation (CA DPR) register all surface disinfectants as pesticides. Although all “antimicrobial” products have risks, many conventional disinfectants, such as chlorine bleach, pose more serious risks to custodial workers and building occupants because they contain active ingredients that have been found to cause asthma, cancer, skin sensitization, or other health hazards. Yet, surface disinfectants with more benign health and environmental impacts than conventional disinfectants are readily available, cost effective, and have equivalent or greater efficacy in killing bacteria, viruses, and fungi.