As the requirements for sanitation and disinfection continue to increase across many sectors due to COVID-19, the question arises: Are the products and chemicals we are using safe? Are we harming our health and environment at the same time as killing the germs and viruses? This question is a very valid one and has been the subject of study by many scientists and regulatory agencies. Cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting products have to be used with caution, especially when fine sprays make it easy to breathe in and cause respiratory symptoms and even asthma. According to the report " Green Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting: A Toolkit for Early Care and Education", 11% of people with work-related asthma in California connected their asthma to cleaning and disinfecting products.
Peracetic Acid - Powerful Combination of Acetic Acid and Hydrogen Peroxide
Peracetic acid (Peroxyacetic acid) is an alternative sanitizer that combines high antimicrobial activity with a favourable health, safety and environmental profile that makes it a good choice for regular use. Peracetic acid is formed from the combination of the well known acetic acid (vinegar) and hydrogen peroxide, which forms a highly effective acidic oxidizing substance with broad spectrum antimicrobial activity.
Broad Spectrum Antimicrobial Activity
Peracetic acid acts very rapidly to kill most microorganisms. Peracetic acid inactivates gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, fungi, and yeasts in less than 5 minutes at less than 100 ppm. The combined effect of the strong oxidation and acidity is delivered rapidly by Peracetic acid at very low levels.
Safe and Environmentally Friendly Choice for Regular Use
At the same time, Peracetic acid is safe and non-toxic and does not leave any harmful residues on surfaces, which makes it the disinfectant of choice in the food industry. Peracetic acid evaporates off without any residues or concerning decomposition products. It is a combination of acetic acid, hydrogen peroxide and water, which are safe and effective for regular use. The concern with many other disinfectants and sanitizers, (ex. quanternary ammonium compounds) is the accumulation of these chemicals on surfaces, in water and the environment since they are not readily biodegradable.
Advantages of Peracetic Acid
- Rapid action against all microorganisms
- No harfmul chemicals or residues (i.e., acetic acid, water, oxygen, hydrogen peroxide);
- No residue or decomposition products after drying (acetic acid and water evaporate)
- Works at room temperature
- Effective in the presence of organic soils
- Peracetic acid inactivates gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, fungi, and yeasts in less than 5 minutes at less than 100 ppm.
- For viruses the dosage range is wide (12 to 2250 ppm), with poliovirus inactivated in yeast extract in 15 minutes with 1500 to 2250 ppm.
- Peracetic acid has a limited shelf-life, typically 6 - 12 months
- Peracetic acid has an odour of vinegar
- Food industry, food processing, meat, fruits and vegetables
- Medical equipment disinfection (endoscopes)
- Pulp and paper - prevention of biofilms
- Water purification
- Cooling tower water disinfection
Most importantly, Peracetic Acid is superior in terms of health, safety and environmental effects because it is a combination of the well known vinegar/acetic acid and hydrogen peroxide. It is this powerful combination that makes Peracetic acid so powerful against germs but safe for everyday regular use in the food industry, medical sterilization, and many other applications with close contact to people.
Aqua Bond conducts extensive research and analysis of alternative and sustainable products for multiple industries and professional sectors. Aqua Bond provides several Peracetic Acid products (Spotless™ Sanitize Peracetic Acid).
Aqua Bond developed a new shelf-stable and odour-free Spotless™ Biocide powder that generates Peracetic Acid with the addition of water. Spotless™ Biocide is a non-foaming, fast acting, odourless, free rinsing sanitizer. The active ingredient, also known as Peracetic Acid or simply PAA, is a broad spectrum anti-microbial agent ideal for routine treatment of hard surfaces in public places, as a sanitizer for medical applications as well as in the chlorine free bleaching in the laundry. Unlike Hydrogen Peroxide it continues to be effective in the presence of catalase and peroxidase and is safe for rinse based applications, leaving only biodegradable residues.
Disinfection, Sterilization, and Control of Hospital Waste. William A. Rutala, David J. Weber, in Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases (Eighth Edition), 2015.
UCSF Institute for Health & Aging, UC Berkeley Center for Environmental Research and Children's Health, Informed Green Solutions, and California Department of Pesticide Regulation. Green Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting: A Toolkit for Early Care and Education, University of California, San Francisco School of Nursing: San Francisco, California, 2013.