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Are All Disinfectants Created Equal?

September 21, 2021by Global Ozone

Have you ever wondered why every disinfecting product you see or hear about claims that they kill 99.9% of germs? Can they all be equal? Who is watching out for our best interest? Hopefully, we can give you some insights into these claims.

Advertising can be accurate, yet deceiving. Most products that claim a kill rate of 99.9% make that claim for a small list of common household germs. IT DOES NOT MEAN 99.9% OF ALL BACTERIA. It just means 99.9% of the bacteria that they list on their label. Most disinfectants on the grocery shelf don’t cover all of the latest antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. This requires purchasing a commercial/professional product that has the latest technology. Like all technology, disinfectants are evolving to meet the growing list of mutated bacteria, but these professional disinfectants are not always conveniently available.

What bacteria will my disinfectant kill?

So how do you find the list of bacteria organisms that the product you purchase will kill? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates all disinfectants. To make a kill claim for your product, you have to register your label with the EPA. Then the EPA has to approve your label and the claims it makes. Typically, an EPA registration number is on the label. You simply have to go to the EPA website, input the number, and the product filing will come up. You can read all the claims on the label that are approved by the EPA.

Surprisingly enough, the average consumer will find that the product they are using kills only a limited number of bacteria organisms. Again, just because a label says this product will kill 99.9% doesn’t mean it kills 99.9% of all bacteria on the surface. It actually means it only kills 99.9% of the organisms that it lists on the label or in its EPA filing.

Follow Label Instructions

Consumers often don’t follow the label instructions to achieve the full disinfecting potential of a product. Most claims for a liquid disinfectant are for use on “hard nonporous surfaces” with a “soak time” of 10 minutes. Concentration levels and the amount of time on the surface being cleaned are two requirements for the disinfectant to reach the kill rate claimed on the label. How often do we just spray and wipe? You will get some benefit, but to achieve the total disinfecting properties of the product, you must keep the surface area wet with the disinfectant for 10 minutes.

The other important fact that we often miss is that the label states it should be applied on “hard nonporous surfaces”. How often do we just spray things like athletic pads with disinfectant? Obviously, the pads are not a “hard nonporous surface,” and you would also have to soak the pads for 10 minutes to achieve the kill claims on the label. Liquid disinfectants are called “leaching” agents because they will leach off of the material they are applied to, onto the next surface they come into contact with, which will be your athlete’s skin. This can cause rashes on the skin which creates another path for bacteria to enter the body.

A Better Alternative for Sanitation

Sports-O-Zone has developed the technology to sanitize athletic equipment using ozone gas, which is more effective than nearly all disinfectants on the market. Ozone will not leach onto an athlete’s skin, because it turns back into the oxygen we breathe after a short period of time. Even with ozone, time and concentration levels are required to be effective. When your athletic gear is placed into the Sports-O-Zone machine, you are assured of achieving the time and concentration of ozone required to disinfect the equipment.

Since the padding of athletic gear consists of a porous surface, ozone can penetrate into the pores and crevices to attack the bacteria naturally. It is green technology because we take oxygen from the air, convert it to ozone, and then back into oxygen. Sports-O-Zone is more effective, easier to use, and less messy than the majority of disinfectants available today.