Chemicals

This list is a compilation of the chemicals that we are aware have been used so far in these practices. Additionally, a short description is provided on their effects on human and environmental health, according to international organizations and scientific studies worldwide.

 
Benzalkonium Chloride*

It is a type of quaternary ammonium cation (quats). It is commonly used as a disinfectant, fabric softener, and as an antistatic agent. 

Human and environmental hazards
  • Asthma

  • Acute wheezing attacks

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases

  • Nose, throat and respiratory tract irritation

  • Skin irritation

  • Eye damage

  • Reduces mitochondria's capacity  to provide energy for cellular function

  • Affects the reproductive system

  • May cause infertility in men

  • Water toxicity

  • Toxic to aquatic life 

  • Soil pollutant

  • Creates antimicrobial resistance

* Recommended by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a disinfectant of non-porous surfaces to fight the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

 
Chlorine* 

Chlorine is a reactive chemical element (Cl) and a strong oxidation agent. It is the most active principle of products whose main ingredient is sodium hypochlorite. It is commonly found on disinfectant and bleaching products. 

Human and environmental hazards
  • Asthma

  • Acute wheezing attacks

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases

  • Nose, throat and respiratory tract irritation

  • Skin irritation

  • Eye damage

  • Cancer 

  • Water toxicity

  • Toxic to aquatic life 

  • Soil pollutant

  • Creates antimicrobial resistance

  • Reacts with organic matter producing trihalomethanes

* Recommended by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) as a disinfectant of non-porous surfaces to fight the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Hydrogen Peroxide*

Hydrogen peroxide is composed of two atoms of Hydrogen and two atoms of Oxygen (H2O2). It is the most common peroxide. It is a weak acid, with strong oxidizing properties, and can be used as a bleacher, disinfectant, and antiseptic. 

Human and environmental hazards
  • Asthma

  • Acute wheezing attacks

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases

  • Nose, throat and respiratory tract irritation

  • Skin irritation

  • Eye damage

  • Water toxicity

  • Toxic to aquatic life 

  • Soil pollutant

  • Creates antimicrobial resistance

* Recommended by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) as a disinfectant of non-porous surfaces to fight the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

 
 
Ozone

Ozone is a highly reactive gas composed of three atoms of Oxygen (O3). It is found in nature as part of the atmosphere. At the stratosphere level, it protects us against the UV sun radiation, while at the troposphere is considered harmful, and contributes to global warming. Ozone can also be man-made and it is used as a powerful disinfectant of surfaces. 

Human and environmental hazards
  • Asthma

  • Acute wheezing attacks

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases

  • Nose, throat and respiratory tract irritation

  • Skin irritation

  • Eye damage

  • Possible endocrine disruptor

  • Chronic inflammatory diseases: diabetes and vascular disorders

  • Depletion in vitamins C and E

  • Water toxicity

  • Toxic to aquatic life 

  • Soil pollutant

  • Vegetation growth and yield disruptor  

 
Silver ion

Silver ions are simply silver atoms that have lost one or more electrons, and are in ionic state. There are commonly used for disinfection and sterilization due to their oxidizing power.

Human and environmental hazards
  • Eyes irritation

  • Hard to be eliminated by liver and kidneys

  • Lung and kidney lesions

  • Breathing problems

  • Lung and throat infections

  • Abdominal pain 

  • Mild skin allergic reactions

  • Water toxicity

  • Highly toxic to aquatic life 

  • Soil pollutant

* Recommended by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a disinfectant of non-porous surfaces to fight the SARS-CoV-2 virus, mix with citric acid.

Image credit: 

Nithinan Tatah from the Noun Project (human toxicity)

Tom Fricker from the Noun Project (environmental hazard)

Your eagle-eyes catch a typo, an error in the data, or  would you like to share your knowledge, you can contact us at: nomoredisinfectiontunnels@gmail.com

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