ehs logo
Summary of Disinfectant Activities

Disinfectant

Disinfection Level

Bacteria

Lipophil.
Viruses

Hydro-
Philic
Viruses

M. tuber- culosis

Fungi

Comments

Alcohols (ethyl and isopropyl)
60-85%

intermediate

+

+

-

+/-

+

Not sporicidal; evaporates quickly so that adequate contact time may not be achieved, high concentrations of organic matter diminish effectiveness; flammable.

Phenolics (0.4%-5%)

intermediate

+

+

+/-

+

+

Not sporicidal; phenol penetrates latex gloves; eye/skin irritant; remains active upon contact with organic soil; may leave residue.

Glutaraldehyde
(2-5%)

high

+

+

+

+

+

Used to sterilize surgical instruments that cannot be autoclaved; strong odor; sensitizer; use with adequate ventilation. Not for use on Environmental surfaces.

Quaternary Ammonium
(0.5-1.5%)

low

+

+

-

-

+/-

May be ineffective against Pseudomonas and other gram – bacteria; recommendation limited to Environmental sanitation (floors, walls). Low odor, irritation.

Iodophors
(30-1,000 ppm iodine)

intermediate

+

+

+

+/-

+/-

Inactivated by organic matter.

Chlorine (100-1,000 ppm)

intermediate

+

+

+

+/-

+

Not sporicidal; inactivated by organic matter; fresh solutions of hypochlorite (chlorox) should be prepared daily; corrosive; irritating to eyes and skin.

Back to 2.7 Decontamination