COVID 19: The safety profile of common disinfectants used for sanitization


  • Wen-Han Chooi
  • Shermaine Yee



With the recent outbreak of COVID-19, sanitization is a must for the community as daily safety prevention. The common ingredients found in disinfectant including glycol, sodium hypochlorite, silver ion, iodophor iodine and polyvinyl-pyrrolidone iodine. An ideal disinfectant should have a wide anti-microbial spectrum, low dermatologically toxicity profile, and stable storage properties. Glycol is widely used as a personal care product due to its low toxicity profile. Although it has a wide anti-microbial spectrum, it must be co-formulated with other agent due to its lower microbial killing strength. It has been demonstrated that sodium hypochlorite is not only capable of destroying bacteria and viruses but also about inactivating viral antigens by breaking down the high concentration protein resulting in the isolation of necrotic tissue particles. Yet, due to its strong alkaline pH and oxidizing capacity, it can cause corrosive reaction when mucous membranes and skin are in touch with it. Besides, silver ion also plays an effective role in curbing SARS coronavirus. It is used widely in disinfecting medical equipment, wound therapy, and utilized in water purification systems by its bacteriostatic and active ingredient properties. Researches have proven that iodophor iodine is effective in against non-enveloped virus in which 1% of povidone-iodine is effective against coronaviruses. However, it can cause a chemical burn, blistering, and skin sloughing if it used as skin disinfection. This report will discuss the safety of these disinfectants in sanitization.






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