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Not all Disinfectants are the Same.

An investigation of more than 2,000 cleaning supplies by Environmental Working Group has found that many contain substances like the ones below which are linked to serious health problems. You may want to avoid products or ingredients with:


· Alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs)

· Ammonia

· Butyl Cellosolve (also known as butyl glycol, ethylene glycol, monobutyl)

· Chlorine bleach (sodium hypochlorite)

· Glycol Ethers (ethylene glycol mono-butyl ether, EGBE or 2-Butoxyethanol)

· Monoethanolamine (MEA) Diethanolamine (DEA) & triethanolamine (TEA)

· Petroleum Solvents

· Phenols

· Phosphates

· Phthalates (Fragrances)

· Triclosan

· and products with labels containing the words: “hazardous”, “corrosive”, “warning”, “danger”, “irritant”, or “inflammable”

Multi-Surface Cleaners

Many multi-surface cleaners can be good for cleaning and disinfecting. However, they may also contain ingredients that could be harmful to your health and the environment, so check the labels before buying.


Popular Brand: Pine-Sol Multi-Surface Cleaner (EWG rating: D)

Eco-Friendly Brand: Seventh Generation Disinfecting Multi-Surface Cleaner (EWG rating: A)


Surface Wipes

When looking at disinfecting wipes brands, avoid those with synthetic fragrances, ammonium chlorides, ammonia, bleach, phosphates, phthalates, sulfates, artificial fragrances, or dyes. Also, be sure not to use disinfecting wipes for more than one surface or you might spread germs, or cross contaminate, instead of killing them.


Popular Brand(s): Clorox or Lysol Disinfecting Wipes (EWG rating: D)

Eco-Friendly Brand: Babyganics All Purpose Surface Wipes (EWG rating: A)

NOTE: The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is an American environmental organization specializing in research and advocacy in the areas of toxic chemicals, agricultural subsidies, public lands, and corporate accountability. The ratings for common sanitizing and disinfecting products below are from the EWG site.

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