Which disinfectant is the most effective?
Disinfectants have been around us almost since there was a cure. There are always bacteria and viruses. They are older than the shell itself. Without them, we probably wouldn’t be humans, because the bacteria we carry are mostly good bacteria that serve us primarily in the digestive system, but also many that seemingly harmlessly attack our bodies as aggressors, but do us a favor by helping our immune system to develop, strengthen, gain immunity, or learn about that and similar bacteria so that it can defend itself in the future.
Various disinfectants can be found on the market, all of which are mostly goods that are registered with the Ministry of Health and have a positive analysis of the effectiveness of an authorized laboratory. However, most funds are “good” under “normal” use conditions. Literally this could be compared to using a car. If you only want to do some work around the city occasionally, without the big risks, then a small, cheap car is enough, because you will be brought almost as close to a nearby shop or business as with a much larger car, but if you want your car to be fast, safe, spacious, good protection for your family in the event of an emergency, then you will do your best to study the tests and analysis as well as the technical data to know exactly what to expect from your car at high speeds, high hazards, or traffic accidents as the most extreme part of using a car.
What do we need to know about disinfectants?
They are currently most popular on the basis of alcohol (ethanol, isopropanol), because of a World Health Organization directive that considers that almost every country, and the poorest one, has its own industrial alcohol production, so in this pandemic the World Health Organization (WHO) issued guidance how to make a home disinfectant on that base. https://www.who.int/gpsc/5may/Guide_to_Local_Production.pdf Therefore, it is the most widespread, but also quite simple in composition, and is often recommended for this purpose by national public health organizations. However, there are certain parameters that an alcoholic agent must satisfy in order to be effective. You can read more about this in a previous article.
The negative properties of alcoholic preparations are rapid volatility and flammability.
Conclusions: There was a significant decrease in transient S aureus on the fingertips of HCWs in the BZK hand sanitizer use week as compared with the 70% ethanol hand sanitizer use week.
© 2019 Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc
Another preparation that has been crystallized as the most effective disinfectant according to various studies, with much less negative side effects is benzalkonium chloride disinfectant. Take a look at a study by the American Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology that tested both disinfectants and conclude that benzalkonium chloride is a better disinfectant. https://www.ajicjournal.org/article/S0196-6553(19)30811-9/pdf It is at a concentration of 0.05% (which is the lower limit according to the Croatian Institute of Public Health), up to 0.20% significantly more effective than alcoholic preparations, which is visible by looking at the concentration required in relation to alcohol, and the following table compares the concentration of the alcoholic agent of 70% and the benzalkonium chloride agent of 0.12% over 5 days, where the number of bacterial cultures after treatment with one agent and another was counted. Benzalkonium chloride is designated BZK.
Benzalkonium chloride-based disinfectant is much slower volatile than alcoholic and thus its action is much longer after treatment of a particular surface or hands than it is for an alcoholic which is flammable and it is disputable which surfaces can be treated and for how long. It is also of very stable composition and with storage time almost does not lose its properties. It is also not aggressive to the skin, does not dry it out, and only in very sensitive skin can it cause reactions such as redness or rashes.
There are several other types of disinfectants, however, they all have more negative side effects, are made up of more unstable compounds, and are either less expensive or less expensive in comparison to leading disinfectants. Considering, however, the considerable number of studies and the considerable differences presented by these studies, we conclude that the best protection against viruses and bacteria is given by a disinfectant based on Benzalkonium chloride, provided that its concentration is at least 0.05%, and preferably up to 0,20%
In a sea of different preparations, it is important to study their composition, find an efficiency analysis, and most importantly not to resort to marketing trendsetters, such as “environmentally friendly”, “biodegradable”, “harmless to the environment”, because the disinfectant kills bacteria, viruses, spores, algae, which are present in our body, in the environment, in the seas and rivers, and it kills them without selection, that is, kills many good ones, which is why it must adhere to the instructions for use, and then the disinfectant becomes our great friend.