Safer Disinfecting Against the Coronavirus

Teacher back at school after covid-19 quarantine and lockdown, disinfecting desks at break time.

During this coronavirus pandemic, proper cleaning and safe disinfecting are even more important. But we know that cleaners and disinfectants can contain chemicals that harm brain health and are linked to other health problems. The good news is that safer alternatives for cleaning and disinfecting against COVID-19 are available.

Surfaces should be cleaned first, before disinfecting (learn helpful techniques in our webinar). To find safer disinfectants, look for active ingredients including alcohol/ethanol/isopropanol, hydrogen peroxide, thymol, L-lactic acid and citric acid. Products with these ingredients are on the Environmental Protection Agency’s list of approved disinfectants against COVID-19, and they are by far much safer than chlorine and ammonia. When cleaning or disinfecting, use gloves to protect your hands. Ventilation (opened window) is especially important for stronger chemicals.

For washing your hands, plain soap and water is just as effective as antibacterial soaps. Both the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) agree that there is no added benefit to antibacterial soaps, so skip them and use plain soap (and avoid those phthalates often hidden under “fragrance” which are linked to neurological harm).

To learn more, check out our Safer Cleaning at Home: Tips and Techniques Against the Coronavirus webinar below and share this resource.

Please also check out our safer cleaning and disinfecting resources page.

Picture of Tracy Gregoire

Tracy Gregoire

Tracy Gregoire is the Healthy Children Project Director for the Learning Disabilities Association of America, and is a long-time advocate for children’s health.

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