Strong cleaning and disinfection (“C&D”) products such as those containing bleach and quaternary ammonium compounds (“quats”) are increasingly used as microbicides for infection prevention and sanitation of environmental surfaces in various settings; for example, in health care, childcare, schools, food service and production facilities, dairies and breweries, and many other industrial facilities.
C&D is an important infection prevention and sanitation strategy, as various microorganisms can be dangerous to immune-compromised and other vulnerable populations. However, there are concerns about the respiratory health of workers and the general public. There is increasing scientific evidence that C&D is associated with respiratory illness, including asthma. The Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics designates both sodium hypochlorite (the active ingredient in bleach) and benzalconium chloride quats as sensitizer-induced asthmagens. The human health and environmental concerns of strong C&D products call for less harmful, yet effective, alternatives. NaDCC disinfection tablets are considered such an alternative to bleach.
The purpose of this fact sheet is to outline both advantages and disadvantages of NaDCC tablets as documented in the literature and summarized in test results from the cleaning laboratory at the
Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI), as published under separate cover.