With the announcement of the pandemic and the rapid spread of COVID-19, many disinfectants and those presented as disinfectants appeared on the market. Their main task is to destroy viruses and bacteria from the surface of the hands or some other surface, but not all disinfectants are effective in the fight against microorganisms. How to identify what may be called disinfectant and which ones are effective, find out in this article.
Disinfectants are products that destroy all microorganisms and protect us from infection by a virus or bacterium. All products that are tested and effective in a fight against them should be called disinfectants.
What are Disinfectants?
Disinfectants are products that destroy all microorganisms and protect us from infection by a virus or bacterium. All products that are tested and effective in a fight against them should be called disinfectants. The problem is that on the shelves of the store, various products are presented as disinfectants, and in practice they are not effective. Therefore, it is very important to check that certain products have been tested at least according to EN 14476, which confirms their effectiveness against the virus. Disinfection products contain instructions for use and are the norm according to which they have been tested and are a safe and quality solution in the prevention of infection. Of course, the COVID-19 virus is also transmitted by droplets, and besides hand and surface disinfection, it is very important that you protect your mouth and nose with a mask.
Division of disinfection products
According to the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Croatia, disinfectants are divided into 5 types of products. The first product group includes biocidal products for personal hygiene in humans, which are also the most important for the prevention of the spread of infection. The second type are disinfectants used for disinfection of various surfaces, the third type are products for veterinary hygiene, the fourth type are products for disinfection of food-related items (equipment, pipelines, packaging…), and the fifth type is products for drinking water disinfection.
The first and second types are the main disinfectants, which are currently essential in preventing the infection of Coronavirus. Personal hygiene products are used for skin disinfection, usually hand. Products used to disinfect metal surfaces, accessories or textiles are also a necessary protection during a pandemic. They will take care to destroy the virus from surfaces that are often touched and can also be used for air disinfection.
Disinfectants must be tested and their effectiveness must be confirmed. Products that have not been tested and their effectiveness has not been proven should not be called disinfectants.
The CIPH recommends the use of hydrogen peroxide, alcohol or benzalkonium chloride disinfectants. They are most effective in fighting COVID-19 viruses, and you can read more about these active substances in What are the differences between active substances in disinfectants?.
In addition to using disinfectants, it is very important that you take care of your personal hygiene and wash your hands regularly. Experts recommend washing your hands before using disinfectants, as that way you will completely remove impurities from them. Detergents can also destroy enveloped viruses, which include the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This virus spreads very quickly, but the advantage is that it is destroyed by disinfectants and detergents. Avoiding frequent touching your face with your hands and touching as few things as possible will reduce your risk of infection.
There are various disinfectants on the market, the most famous are:
- Alcohol Disinfectants (Great for Hand Disinfection)
- Products with organic nitrogen compounds (quaternary nitrogen compounds)
- Biguanides (excellent and effective disinfectants)
- Oxidizing products (commonly used for surface disinfection)
- Aldehydes (can cause body reactions, such as rashes or allergies)
- Hydrochloric acid, sodium alkali, sodium hypochlorite (not to be used on the human body because they are very aggressive)
Disinfectants must be tested and their effectiveness must be confirmed. Products that have not been tested and that their effectiveness has not been proven should not be called disinfectants. It is very important that you choose only quality and safe disinfectants when buying, which will remove the virus from the surface. COVID-19 is rapidly expanding, and you can read all about it in What is COVID-19 and how did it come about?