Non-toxic disinfectants are an essential component of infection control as they help to reduce the spread of harmful bacteria and viruses.
The following is a list of EPA-registered disinfectants for hospitals and other medical facilities, schools, commercial buildings, and homes.
While all registered disinfectants are technically non-toxic, this list looks at the least toxic options using the most chemically sensitive folks as the benchmark to asses them. This is based on my experience of 10 years of working with and being in community chemically sensitive folks, being chemically sensitive myself, and a recent survey.
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Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires that hospital-grade disinfectants must be registered with the EPA. EPA-registered hospital disinfectants must have demonstrated acceptable efficacy against two qualifying bacteria — Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. EPA monitors the efficacy of disinfectant products with public health claims under its registration and reregistration processes. There are lists A-Q to determine which pathogens the disinfectant is effective against.
Active ingredients considered to be the most non-toxic and suitable for most chemically sensitive folks:
- Hydrogen Peroxide – the most widely tolerated ingredient, based on a survey
- Nano silver – used in hospital-grade disinfectants in Australia but not in the US
- Hypochlorous Acid (HOCL) – this slight chlorine scented ingredient can be considered natural since it’s made from electrolyzed salt
- Citric Acid
- L-Lactic Acid
- Alcohol: ethanol or isopropyl alcohol – these ingredients are very fast to evaporate
This is based on my 10 years of experience working with and being in community with chemical sensitive people and a recent survey I conducted asking chemically sensitive folks which active ingredients they did well with. In the survey, hydrogen peroxide was the most popular choice by far.
A note on fragrance:
While synthetic fragrance is more likely to cause problems for the chemically sensitive, natural fragrance is high on the list of ingredients to avoid for many as well. Terpenes found in essential oils react with ozone in the air to form formaldehyde (EWG) and very often cause accessibility issues for chemically sensitive folks.
Eliminating fragrance from our arsenal of cleaning products and disinfectants used in public buildings will go a long way to creating more accessible spaces for sensitive populations.
List of Non-Toxic, Fragrance-Free Hospital-Grade Disinfectants
1. Disinfexol HOCl Disinfectant Cleaning Spray
EPA registered (95747-1), RTU hospital-grade disinfectant and cleaner. Disinfexol is List N registered.
Disinfexol uses HOCl, the most effective species of chlorine, as its active ingredient. It contains no added fragrances, dyes, sodium hydroxide, toxins, surfactants, preservatives, or carcinogens.
For use in hospitals, schools, commercial buildings, and homes.
Ingredients List: 99.935% Reverse Osmosis Water, 0.065% Hypochlorous Acid (HOCL). Active Ingredient: HOCL. Fragrance-Free.
Where to find it: https://disinfexol.com/
2. CleanSmart Hospital Grade Disinfectant
EPA & FDA Approved. EPA Listed N (Ref # 89896-2) to kill 99.9% of bacteria & viruses without harmful chemicals.
CleanSmart Daily Surface Cleaner/Disinfectant is EPA Approved for all household surfaces. For use in Neo-Natal Wards, EPA Approved to spray directly on a baby’s pacifier without rinsing after. Safe for dog kennels and litter boxes.
Ingredients List: 0.017% Hypochlorous Acid (HOCL), 99.919% Ionized Water. Active Ingredient: HOCL.Fragrance-Free
Where to find it: Amazon and https://www.lifesciencesus.com/products/hospital-grade-disinfectant-1-gal
3. Blue Planet Hospital Grade Disinfectant
Blue Planet Disinfectant is EPA Registered as a broad-spectrum hospital grade bactericidal, virucidal and fungicidal disinfectant. It’s made with Stabilized Hypochlorous Acid and breaks down into simple salt and water after use, leaving no chemical residue.
It sanitizes hard, non-porous food contact surfaces gently with no wiping or rinsing necessary.
Hypochlorous Acid is on the EPA’s “List N”.
Ingredients: Water 99.983%, Hypochlorous Acid (HOCL) 0.017% Active Ingredient: HOCL. Fragrance-Free.
Where to find it: https://www.interconchemical.com/products/blue-planet-products/blue-planet-disinfectant.htm
4. Pure & Clean Disinfectant/Sanitizer
EPA-Registered, Pure&Clean Disinfectant/Sanitizer is made with natural Hypochlorous Acid. It contains no harsh chemicals, antibiotics or alcohol.
Like all pure HOCL cleaners, it has the lowest toxicity rating and does not require the use of personal protective equipment or other safety precautions.
This product that cleans, deodorizes, and disinfects. It is a virucide, bactericide, germicide, tuberculocide, and antimicrobial agent.
It is an effective sanitizer for food contact surfaces and appropriate for daily use.
Ingredients Hypochlorous Acid (HOCl) 0.046%, Electrolyzed Oxygenated Water (H2O) 99.954%. Active Ingredient HOCL. Fragrance-Free.
Where to find it: Amazon and https://pureandclean.us/disinfectant-sanitizer/
More EPA Registered options made from HOCL and water (and no fragrance):
- Annihilyte The Disinfectant
- BioBlast Disinfectant
5. Clorox Healthcare Hydrogen Peroxide Cleaner Disinfectant
An EPA registered, noncorrosive disinfectant that is tested on medical devices.
Ideal for daily use in high-turnover areas, these liquids and wipes come in a range of sizes and formats to meet your needs on hard and soft surfaces, including clinical use, daily patient room cleaning, disinfection of medical devices, terminal cleaning and on-the-go disinfecting.
You’ll get fast kill times on over 40 pathogens. That’s more EPA-registered kill claims for antibiotic-resistant organisms compared to other popular wipes that use quats and alcohol.
Ingredients: Stabilizer, ppg-3 methyl ether, phosphoric acid, benzenesulfonic acid, alkoxylated phosphate polymers, salicylic acid, alkyl glucosides and polyglucosides, lauryl betaine, 1-(1-hydroxypropoxy)propan-1-ol (dipropylene glycol), tetrasodium iminodisuccinate, myristyl betaine, cetyl betaine, hydrogen peroxide, water, sodium hydroxide, sodium chloride, glycol ethers Active Ingredient: Hydrogen Peroxide 1.4%. Fragrance-free.
Where to find it: Amazon and https://www.cloroxpro.com/products/clorox-healthcare/hydrogen-peroxide-cleaner-disinfectants
6. Oxivir Plus by Diversey
A one-step disinfectant cleaner based on proprietary Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide (AHP®) technology to deliver fast, effective cleaning performance. At 1:40 dilution, it disinfects in five minutes.
It’s a virucide, bactericide, fungicide, and mildewcide.
AHP(R) active breaks down into water and oxygen after use
Ingredients: Propylene glycol n-propyl ether, hydrogen peroxide, Dodecylbenzene sulfonic acid, 2-Hydroxybenzoic Acid Active Ingredient: Hydrogen Peroxide. Fragrance-Free.
Where to find it https://diversey.com/en/product-catalogue/oxivir-plus-disinfectant-cleaner-concentrate-5919059-nam
Note: Oxivir Five 16 is another hydrogen peroxide based disinfectant by the same company that is also fragrance free.
Where to find it: Amazon.
Peroxigard Ready-To-Use and Pre-saturated Wipes are EPA Registered products for cleaning and disinfecting bio-safety cabinets, laboratory equipment and tools, cages, work stations, animal housing rooms, high-touch surfaces, and surgical suites.
Peroxigard cleans, disinfects, and deodorizes in one step, easily and consistently achieving contact time compliance in the presence of a soil load (<5%) while remaining gentle on animals, people, surfaces and the planet.
It’s bactericidal, virucidal, Ttuberculocidal, and fungicidal.
Ingredients: Water, LVP Solvent (proprietary), pH Stabilizers/Adjusters Blend (proprietary), Surfactants Blend (proprietary), Hydrogen Peroxide. Active Ingredient: Hydrogen Peroxide. Fragrance Free.
Where to find it: https://peroxigard.com/where-to-buy/
8. Profect HP by Spartan Chemical
EPA Registered, Profect HP is part of a simple and effective cleaning and disinfection program for your entire facility on hard, non-porous surfaces.
One minute contact times ensure efficacy and compliance for the most critical disinfection needs. Ideal for daily use on high-touch surfaces. This is a ready-to-use formula.
Kills bacteria, enveloped and non-enveloped viruses, and fungi.
Ingredients: Water, Benzyl Alcohol, Phosphoric Acid, Decylamine Oxide, Capryleth-9 Carboxylic Acid, Hydrogen Peroxide, Caprylyl/Carpyl Glucoside, Etidronic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Benzophenone-4. Active Ingredient: Hydrogen Peroxide. No Fragrance listed.
Where to find it: https://www.spartanchemical.com/products/product/100803
9. Safetec SaniZide Pro 1 Surface Disinfectant Spray
SaniZide Pro 1 is a broad spectrum, EPA Registered surface disinfectant that combines cleaning and disinfecting in one simple step with a ready-to-use, alcohol-based hospital-grade formula.
Effective against 48 microorganisms, and safe for repeated use on hard, non-porous surfaces in under one minute.
For use in Hospitals, Medical or Dental Offices, Ambulance, Ambulatory Surgical Centers, Nursing Homes, Laboratories, Pharmacies, Veterinary Offices, and other Healthcare Related Institutions.
Ingredients: Purified Water, Propylene Glycol, Citric Acid, Decyl Glucoside, Didecyldimonium Chloride (quats) as a disinfectant, Lauryl Glucoside, 72% Ethyl Alcohol. Active Ingredients: Alcohol with some Quaternary Ammonia. No fragrance listed.
Many sensitive folks don’t tolerate quaternary ammonia but I added it to the list because it’s the only option I found based mainly on alcohol.
Where to find it: Amazon and https://romimedical.com/sanizide-pro-1-surface-disinfectant-spray-32-oz/
10. Benefect Decon 30
EPA Registered to kill over 99.99% of germs. It is Health Canada registered as well.
Based on natural Thymol (from Thyme oil) this is proven to kill over 99.99% of bacteria and surpasses the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s efficacy requirements for broad spectrum hospital disinfectants.
Ideal for decontamination, preventing cross-contamination, cleaning, disinfecting and deodorizing in water damage applications. For use in residential and commercial buildings, food service, hospitals, medical clinics, schools and government buildings.
Ingredients: Thyme oil, oregano oil, lemon oil, bio-based surfactants, water, ionized water. Active ingredient: Thymol. Fragrance: Yes, natural Thyme and Lemon fragrance.
While this product is all natural, including the fragrance, natural fragrance is an accessibility barrier for many chemically sensitive folks. I would suggest that this be used in non-public buildings.
Where to find it: Amazon.
Corinne Segura is a Building Biologist Practitioner with 8 years of experience helping others create healthy homes.
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