Founded in 1989, Green Seal is the nation’s premier ecolabel, symbolizing transparency, integrity and proven environmental leadership. It has certified thousands of products and services in over 450 categories, and is specified by countless schools, government agencies, businesses and institutions.
by Nina Hwang, MPH of Green Seal
Are you concerned about properly disinfecting for coronavirus while also wondering if there are less hazardous options available? Green Seal has created a primer on how to safely clean and disinfect your space, including a curated list of safer disinfectants for COVID-19.
CLEAN, THEN DISINFECT
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one critical step for preventing illness includes both cleaning and disinfecting the spaces where you spend your time.
Green Seal recommends the following procedure to effectively clean and disinfect surfaces:
Green Seal has many certified general-purpose cleaners to choose from and the full list of products can be found here. Also, here is Green Seal’s COVID-19 Resource Page.
Disinfectants are designed to kill germs, and therefore none can be completely harmless. Because of this, the US EPA does not allow manufacturers to label disinfectants with third-party certifications, such as Green Seal. However, there are safer options out there.
US EPA has released a list of recommended disinfectants for use against COVID-19. When considering EPA’s list, Green Seal recommends choosing products with the following active ingredients, as these chemicals are known to be less hazardous to human health and do not trigger allergic reactions, or asthma:
On EPA’s list of recommended disinfectants, the agency includes several products with these active ingredients, including:
SEARCHING EPA’S LIST
If you already have a product in mind, you can refer to EPA’s website to confirm whether it is approved for use against COVID-19 and to find the product’s specific use instructions. Instead of searching by product name or manufacturer, search by the EPA registration number. Enter only the first 2 sections of the Registration Number — for example, for EPA Reg. No. 12345-12-2567, search only for 12345-12.
The third section (2567) is only used to distinguish between different product distributors, who sell the products under different names and brands but don’t change the formula at all.
The CDC and the EPA remain the best source of information for preventing coronavirus. Once the coronavirus threat has passed, this Infection Control Guide from our Healthy Green Schools & Colleges program is an additional resource to help you plan for infection outbreaks in general.
*Some products are a combination of a cleaner and a disinfectant. As always, read the label carefully and follow directions.