Safer Disinfectant Use
A Resource for Families
Cleaning surfaces safely is important. Using disinfectants on surfaces can kill disease-causing germs but they may also have health risks. Families can make safer, effective disinfection product choices. Families are encouraged to read the guidance below to help prevent or reduce exposure to disinfectants. This information can also help guide discussions with your child’s pediatrician or with your regional Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (PEHSU) staff.
How do I protect myself from COVID-19? posted on Jun 3, 2021
How should I remove dirt and germs? posted on Jun 3, 2021
What should be disinfected? posted on Jun 3, 2021
How can I make safe, effective disinfection choices? posted on Jun 3, 2021
How do you more safely disinfect? posted on Jun 3, 2021
What if you can't access some of these safer products? posted on Jun 3, 2021
Key Points posted on Jun 3, 2021
To download this page as a fact sheet, click here.
To download this page as a fact sheet in Amharic, Chinese (simplified), Korean, Portuguese (Brazilian), Russian, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese click on the preferred language.
To download this information as an infographic, click here.
To download this information as an infographic in Amharic, Chinese (simplified), Korean, Portuguese (Brazilian), Russian, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese click on the preferred language.
- Safer Disinfectant Infographic for Facebook (JPG)
- Safer Disinfectant Infographic for Instagram (JPG)
- Safer Disinfectant Infographic for Twitter (JPG)
Additional Resources for Families
- CDC recommendations for how COVID-19 spreads
Information on how COVID spreads and how to protect yourself.
- CDC recommendations for clean hands save lives
CDC resources on the importance handwashing.
- EPA Safer Choice Products List
List of cleaning products that meet the EPA Safer Choice standards.
- EPA Design for The Environment Antimicrobial Pesticide Program
Information on the meaning of, qualification process, and qualified products of the DfE logo.
- EPA List of Products for Use Against SARS-CoV-2
List of products that will kill COVID-19. Page also provides additional cleaning resources.
- EPA Frequent Questions about Disinfectants and Coronavirus
FAQs on disinfectanting during COVID-19.
- American College of Medical Toxicology (ACMT) Safer Disinfectant Use Webinars & Resources
Webinars and resources on Safer Disinfectant Use. Produced in collaboration with PEHSU.
- HealthyChildren.org: Cleaners, Sanitizers, and Disinfectants
Information and best practices re: cleaning products and choosing the best products.
- HealthyChildren.org: Hand Sanitizers - Keep Children Safe from Poisoning Risk
Guidance on safely using hand sanitizers.
- HealthyChildren.org COVID-19 Resources for Families
List of COVID-19 resources on various topics.
- Cleaning and Safer Disinfecting Comic Strips
Comics that illustrate proper disinfecting practices.
- Early Care and Education/Child Care
Two webinars on how to safely clean, sanitize, and disinfect in child care settings.
- Hand Sanitizers
PEHSU fact sheet and resources on safe hand sanitizers use.
Regional PEHSU Websites
- Mid-America PEHSU - Schools and HVAC Systems
Information on keeping schools clean and the use of HVAC systems during COVID-19.
- New England PEHSU - Coloring for COVID Coloring Books in English, French, and Spanish
Educational coloring books on COVID-19 for children.
- Northwest PEHSU - Safer Disinfection videos in English and Amharic
Guidance on safely disinfecting during COVID-19.
- Southwest Center for Pediatric Environmental Health – short, animated videos on handling the pandemic
Educational videos on COVID-19.
- Western States PEHSU- Safer Disinfecting during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Various resources on safe disinfectant practices.
- Western States PEHSU - Green Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting: A Toolkit for Early Care and Education, 2nd Edition
Toolkit on cleaning and disinfecting early care and education facilities.
- Clean Away COVID
Source: Association of State Public Health Nutritionists: Information on cleaning your home and staying safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Endorsed by PEHSU
- California Department of Pesticide Regulation fact sheet: What’s So Great About Microfiber?
Source: Western States PEHSU. Learn about microfiber, why it's used for cleaning, and how to use it.
- Green Seal Safer Cleaning Products
Source: Green Seal. List of safer, Green Seal certified cleaning products.
- Michigan State University resource on bleach
Source: Michigan State University. Information on cleaning with bleach during the COVID-19 pandemic
The Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units (PEHSUs) are supported by cooperative agreement FAIN: NU61TS000296 with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (CDC/ATSDR). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also provides support through Inter-Agency Agreement DW-75-95877701 with CDC/ATSDR. The American Academy of Pediatrics supports the PEHSUs as the National Program Office. The content on this website has not been formally disseminated by CDC/ATSDR or the EPA and should not be construed to represent any agency determination or policy. Use of trade names that may be mentioned is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by the CDC/ATSDR or EPA.
The information contained on this website should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your/your child’s primary care provider. There may be variations in treatment that your provider may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
Date created: January 2021
Date updated: September 2021