Most people are confused by the cleaning and disinfecting products that are available on the market today. With row upon row of thousands of products to choose from, how do you decide what is best for you and your family? We are going to start by providing you with a basic understanding of disinfectants; what they are, how they work, how they are defined and regulated, how to use them and so on. As we continue our blog, we hope to help you understand basic cleaning procedures and incorporating disinfectants where needed in everyday life, the safest way possible. The information you will read here is based upon independent laboratory studies or the guidelines from the US EPA and Center for Disease Control.
THERE ARE NO “GREEN” DISINFECTANTS.
Currently the Federal government considers all disinfectants to be pesticides. Yes, pesticides. Disinfectants kill bugs, aka microbial living organisms; therefore disinfectants or anti-microbials are considered pesticides and regulated by the US
Environmental Protection Agency or EPA.
When a products claims to “kill” something, even a bacterium, it really can’t be considered non-toxic which would negate the “green” rating. Vital Oxide is registered with the lowest toxicity ratings given by the EPA. The EPA is working on a new program, DFE, to bring awareness to a lower toxicity disinfectant like Vital Oxide, so that they are not all clumped together with many, much more harmful disinfectants.
Each disinfectant produced in the United States must be registered with the EPA and must have the EPA’s registration number on the label. If a product does not have the EPA registration number on the label, it is not a disinfectant. Before registering a new pesticide, EPA must first ensure that when used according to label directions it can be done with a reasonable certainty of no harm to human health and without posing unreasonable risks to the environment. To make such determinations, EPA requires more than 100 different scientific studies and tests from applicants. http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/regulating/index.htm.
Each registration process includes specifications as to where and how the product should be used, dilution ratios for various applications and the submission of extensive environmental health and safety data. The EPA also requires proof of all claims the product makes. If the product claims to kill the E coli bacteria, the EPA will require proof from an independent laboratory, which has conducted a study under good laboratory practices, proving the results. The EPA neither approves nor disapproves any product.
You can read and verify any product label by searching the EPA website for information on any product with the link below. http://iaspub.epa.gov/apex/pesticides/f?p=101:1:2256357115288601
What really frightens me is the amount of incorrect information available on the internet. I read claims and answers to serious questions that are so off base its laughable and many things that can be extremely dangerous. People somehow believe they can mix up a batch of their own, homemade “green” disinfectant. Not only does this product not exist, but mixing seemingly harmless chemicals can be very dangerous.
I recently read a blog that clearly stated that distilled vinegar is a disinfectant. It’s not. But if someone reads this and uses vinegar to disinfect say, their cutting board after preparing raw chicken, and again, vinegar is not a disinfectant, they could leave behind bacteria that could infect someone in their family from the unclean cutting board. These types of food borne bacteria invade a body quickly and result in severe nausea, vomiting, fever, headaches, cramping and dehydration. Not a fun weekend. And seriously dangerous for small children, elderly or anyone with a compromised immune system.