Using Disinfectants or Biocides

Process Name
Using Disinfectants or Biocides
Disinfectants are chemicals used to inhibit or kill microorganisms. Disinfectants are also called antiseptics or biocides. Disinfectants are generally used in physical media (solutions or on surfaces) while antiseptics are applied to skin or other living tissue. Some of these agents are also used as preservatives for food, drugs, and other domestic and industrial products. Many of these chemicals are skin and respiratory sensitizers. The following can cause occupational asthma: glutaraldehyde, formaldehyde, sodium bisulfite, chloramine T, hexachlorophene, chlorohexidine, benzalkonium chloride, isononanoyl oxybenzene sulfonate, lauryl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride, and isothiazolinones. A study of 175 workers exposed to chloramines, aldehydes, and quaternary ammonium disinfectants in the food industry showed increased acute irritation symptoms but not chronic respiratory symptoms. [PMID 16973735] "The percentage of WRA [work-related asthma] cases from exposure to cleaning products from 1998-2012 was unchanged from 1993-1997 indicating that continued and additional prevention efforts are needed to reduce unnecessary use, identify safer products, and implement safer work processes." [PMID 31895737] "Our findings provide some further evidence for an association between occupational exposure to disinfectants and asthma, indicating that this association can be seen already after the first year of exposure." [PMID 31233007]

Agents Linked to This Process


Hazardous agents associated with this process: