If you use or are around disinfectants at work, you have many options to reduce your risk. Many disinfectants can increase the risk of breathing problems when used often or without enough ventilation and air flow.
There are many ways to control the COVID-19 virus, not just with disinfectants. A layered approach to cleaning and virus control may be lower risk for your health. A combination of methods can help stop the virus from spreading.
You might find the following information useful if you're a teacher or work in child care, health care, public transportation, food service and grocery, cleaning services, housekeeping, or a similar job.
If you're not sure where to start to report a problem, call NPIC at 800-858-7378, Monday through Friday, 8am-12pm Pacific Time. NPIC gives non-emergency information and is not an enforcement agency.
These everyday steps prevent the virus from spreading:
Wearing a mask reduces virus spread, even if vaccinated.
Use soap and water for routine cleaning. According to the CDC, household cleaners or soap and water remove most COVID-19 virus particles on surfaces.
Wash hands often with soap and water, especially before touching your face.
Use hand sanitizer with 60% or more alcohol when soap and water aren't available.
Stay 6 feet away from people not in your household.
Bring in outside air as much as possible.
Allow fewer people indoors at one time.
These steps help stop the spread of the virus if someone is sick:
Stay home when sick, except to get medical care.
Stay separate from others in the home as much as possible.
Regularly clean surfaces with soap and water, including anything that looks dirty.
If using a disinfectant, clean with soap and water first.
Use disinfectants registered by EPA, specifically for COVID-19. Not sure? List N can help you tell if your disinfectant should do the job. Products that only say "Sanitizes" or "Cleans" do not control viruses.
Consider using products that are lower in toxicity. Lower toxicity products say CAUTION on the label, instead of WARNING or DANGER.
These disinfectants are on EPA's Safer Chemical Ingredients List*. If your product has one of these, it will be listed on the front of the disinfectant container.
*Follow all instructions carefully! Higher concentrations or distracted handling can increase your risk when using any product, even if it's lower in toxicity.
objective, science-based information about pesticides and
pesticide-related topics to enable people to make informed
decisions. NPIC is a cooperative agreement
between Oregon State
University and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (cooperative agreement
#X8-83947901). The information in this publication does not in any way
replace or supersede the restrictions, precautions, directions, or
other information on the pesticide label or any other regulatory
requirements, nor does it necessarily reflect the position of the