Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a “hospital” and a “general use” disinfectant?
Disinfectants are used on hard inanimate objects to kill infectious fungi or bacteria but not necessarily their spores. Disinfectants are divided into two major types: “hospital” and “general use.” Hospital-types disinfectants are used in hospital, medical and dental offices or any environment where critical infection control is needed. General-type disinfectants are used in household, swimming pools and water purifiers.
What is the difference between a sanitizer and a disinfectant?
Sanitizers are used to reduce but not necessarily eliminate microorganisms from inanimate surfaces to levels considered safe as determined by public health codes or regulations. Disinfectants are used on hard inanimate objects to kill infectious fungi or bacteria but not necessarily their spores.
Why is it important to read and understand the kill claims on the product being used to disinfect or sanitize?
Read the label of the disinfectant or sanitizer carefully and completely. Some containers will say they kill x-germ in one-minute, while other types of germs can take three, five, or even ten minutes and that the surface must remain wet during the whole time. Are you willing to put the responsibility on your staff to disinfect according to the label directions? This in turn puts the onus on the user to follow the directions and this could have detrimental results. Make sure any disinfectant product is registered with the EPA. Ask questions of the manufacturer, get copies of efficacy tests. It is for your protection.
What is EPA and why is it important that the product used be registered?
EPA is the Environmental Protection Agency. It leads the nation’s environmental science, research, education and assessment efforts. The mission of the EPA is to protect human health and the environment. The EPA, located in Washington DC, runs ten regional offices and more than a dozen labs. Products that are EPA registered must be submitted and undergo rigorous testing. In order for a product to claim a certain kill time on a microorganism it must pass and be approved by EPA before the kill claim may be made on the product’s label.
How does one insure that claims made on a product have been approved and tested by EPA?
Any company that has been approved by EPA and has validated its kill claims through the necessary laboratories should not have any problem sharing their “Efficacy Testing” with their consumers. The Efficacy Test is a brief overview of how the product was tested, the method used, and the results. It is easy to read and answers a great deal of questions for the consumer.