The American Cleaning Institute (ACI)

ACI Statement - Studies Questioning Disinfectant Safety


Coverage of recent studies examining the increased use of disinfectants during COVID-19 may be sending misleading messages about the products’ safety during a time when they are playing a critical role in public health, according to the American Cleaning Institute (ACI –

Among the key ingredients used in many disinfecting products are quaternary ammonium compounds (QACs) – “quats” for short.

“Quats are important workhorse chemistries in disinfectant products that have been crucial during the pandemic in home, commercial and healthcare settings. Simply put, proper and targeted used of these products and chemistries help save lives,” said Kathleen Stanton, ACI Associate Vice President, Technical & International Affairs.

“Cleaning product and disinfectant manufacturers make product safety a top priority. Rigorous safety tests are in place for human health that are evaluated by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for approval, and compliance with all regulatory guidelines.

“Disinfecting products are safe and effective when used as directed. Importantly, these products and all other cleaning products must be used as directed.

“Targeted hygiene, cleaning and disinfecting practices continue to be recommended by federal, state and regional governmental public health agencies as important components to help contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.”

Some interpretations of recent studies, including “Consequences of chemical impact of disinfectants: safe preventive measures against COVID-19” (appearing in Critical Reviews in Toxicology) and “Increased Indoor Exposure to Commonly Used Disinfectants During the COVID-19 Pandemic” (appearing in Environmental Science and Technology Letters) can cause undue concern about disinfectant safety.

“These products and their ingredients are rigorously tested and are safe and effective when properly used,” according to ACI.

The American Cleaning Institute® (ACI – is the Home of the U.S. Cleaning Products Industry® and represents the $60 billion U.S. cleaning product supply chain. ACI members include the manufacturers and formulators of soaps, detergents, and general cleaning products used in household, commercial, industrial and institutional settings; companies that supply ingredients and finished packaging for these products; and chemical distributors.  ACI serves the growth and innovation of the U.S. cleaning products industry by advancing the health and quality of life of people and protecting our planet. ACI achieves this through a continuous commitment to sound science and being a credible voice for the cleaning products industry.

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