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Reevaluating the Effectiveness of “Disinfectant” on Surfaces

“Disinfectant” is a common words a lot of companies use to promote their products against Covid-19 nowadays. While their claim is maybe partially true that their product provides virus protection or removal, most are not recognised by National Environment Agency (NEA) as their product are not tested with the appropriate concentrations of active ingredients that are effective against Covid-19. For those who are unaware of what NEA is, NEA is the leading public organisation responsible for ensuring safe environment standards in Singapore. Its key responsibility is managing Covid-19 Safe Management Measure and providing Covid-19 guidelines to companies and the citizens. More info about the organisation here.

Here are the list of active ingredients and their working concentrations effective against coronaviruses:

Active Ingredients and Their Working Concentrations Effective Against Coronaviruses Table

#Products with hydrogen peroxide as the active ingredient will be assessed on a case-by-case basis; efficacy reports should be provided by the supplier.

*Alternative name: alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride

^Active chlorine could be generated from other precursors such as calcium hypochlorite, hydrochloric acid, sodium chloride, sodium dichloroisocyanurate, tosylchloramide sodium, and trichloroisocyanuric acid, under certain conditions.

(a) Omisbahakhsh, N., & Sattar, S. A. (2006). Broad-spectrum microbicidal activity, toxicologic assessment, and materials compatibility of a new generation of accelerated hydrogen peroxide-based environmental surface disinfectant. American Journal of Infection Control, 34(5), 251-2571

(b) Saknimit M, Inatsuki I, Sugiyama Y, Yagami K. (1988) Virucidal efficacy of physico-chemical treatments against coronaviruses and parvoviruses of laboratory animals. Jikken Dobutsu. 37:341-5

(c) Dellanno, C., Vega, Q., & Boesenberg, D. (2009). The Antiviral action of common household disinfectants and antiseptics against murine hepatitis virus, a potential surrogate for SARS coronavirus. American Journal of Infection Control, 37(8), 649-652. doi:10.1016/j.ajic.2009.03.012

(d) Sattar SA, Springthorpe VS, Karim Y, Loro P. (1989). Chemical disinfection of non-porous inanimate surfaces experimentally contaminated with four human pathogenic viruses. Epidemiol. Infect.

(e) Lai, M. Y. Y., Cheng, P. K. C., & Lim, W. W. L. (2005). Survival of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 41(7), e67-e71.

Table source from https://www.nea.gov.sg/our-services/public-cleanliness/environmental-cleaning-guidelines/guidelines/list-of-household-products-and-active-ingredients-for-disinfection-of-covid-19

Even with the regulated listed ingredient tested effective against Covid-19 present in their products, not all products work effectively on certain surfaces or environments. Here is an illustration of not so ideal surface that could nullify the mentioned ingredient to be ineffective against Covid-19.

Effectiveness of disinfectant against dirty surface

Surfaces with dirt, residue, or other chemicals may nullify the effectiveness of the disinfectant or hide under the dirt or a particles. Hence, it is important to check the labels for instruction and use the disinfectant accordingly. Common instructions of a disinfectant product include; avoid contact with eyes and skin when using the disinfectant, do not mix with other chemical products (in hoping to create more powerful chemicals and no, chemical composition doesn’t work that way), do not dilute the disinfectant chemicals with more water hoping to get more out of it (and save money),  allow more contact time as mentioned in the table above and lastly store the disinfectant in recommendation temperature and environment.

Well, if you finding a NEA approved disinfectant that are tested and they are certified to be effective in disinfecting and protect against Covid-19, you are in good luck. Here are our NEA approved disinfectant:

4 in 1 action: Cleans, disinfects, deodorizes and controls odours. PINEFECT is halal approved and control odours and reduces contamination by bacteria and enveloped virus

Active Ingredient(s) against Covid-19: Benzalkonium chloride (1.52%)
Other Precaution: Not recommended to be dilutions

EASY-SAN is halal approved and ideal for use on food contact surfaces and equipment which comes in contact with foodstuffs. It also evaporate very fast

Active Ingredient(s) against Covid-19: Benzalkonium chloride (0.05%), Isopropanol (48%)

NOVIRUCLEAN RTU1/30 is an powerful ultra-broad spectrum Bactericidal, Yeasticidal and Viricidal spray & wipe disinfectant cleaner, that is effective on all inanimate, hard and non-porous surfaces such as stainless, laminates, aluminum and plastics, metal.

Active Ingredient(s) against Covid-19: Benzalkonium chloride (0.117%)

VIRETRON is a ultra powerful Bactericidal, Yeasticidal and Virucidal disinfectant, formulated to control and reduce the spread of germs (airborne virus and bacterias) that cause epidemics and diseases. VIRETRON is halal approved and can be used as a space spray to kill airborne germs and as a hard surface disinfectant to kill germs on environmental surfaces.

Active Ingredient(s) against Covid-19: Benzalkonium chloride (0.5%), Ethanol (49%), Isopropanol (8.5%)
Other Precaution: Flammable at high concentration. Keep away from heat/sparks/open flames/hot surfaces.

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