Keeping objects and surfaces in child care settings clean
and pathogen free is important for the health of children in care, child care
providers, families and the community.
Recent changes to the concentration of bleach, changes to
testing protocols for EPA bleach registration, and the variety of products
available on the market make it no longer possible to recommend a generic
recipe for mixing bleach solutions for sanitizing and disinfecting. Instead, follow these steps:
the surface and what treatment it needs.
Refer to Appendix K: Routine Schedule for Cleaning, Sanitizing, andDisinfecting in Caring for Our Children.
- Be sure to clean surfaces with soap and water
before sanitizing or disinfecting.
- Choose the right product for the job. Products
can be concentrated or pre-mixed, but must meet the Oregon Health Authority
approved criteria below.
- It the product requires mixing, follow the label
instructions and prepare solutions daily.
- Mix and use the products safely, preferably when
children are not present.
- Finally, store all chemicals safely, out of the
reach of children, and in a way that they will not tip and spill.
The Oregon Health Authority developed criteria for
sanitizers and disinfectants for use in child care facilities in order to
assure that the products are effective in controlling infection, preventing
disease transmission and have limited health risks.
Criteria for all
products used as disinfectants or sanitizers:
- Must be registered with the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) as a disinfectant or sanitizer. If the product label
says it is a disinfectant or sanitizer, and the label has an EPA registration
number, then it meets this requirement.
- Test strips must be available to confirm
concentrations after on-site mixing or product must be a ready-to-use formula
that does not require on-site mixing.
- Must have an effective contact dwell time of 5
minutes or less listed on the product label. Contact dwell time is the amount
of time the product must sit on a surface in order to kill the microorganisms
the product claims to kill.
- Active ingredient must not be listed as a group
1, 2A, or 2B carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer
(IARC). It must not be “known” or
“reasonably anticipated to be carcinogenic to humans” by the National
Toxicology Program (NTP).To find out whether an active ingredient has one of these
designations, look for it on the IARC list found here, and
the NTP list
- Sanitizers must not require a rinse step after
use on food contact surfaces according to the label.
- Must not contain additives for fragrance or
for non-asthma-causing disinfectants and sanitizers
- Active ingredient must not be an asthmagen
according to the Association of Occupational and
Environmental Clinics (AOEC). To find out whether an active ingredient is
on AOEC’s list of known asthmagens, follow this link and search for the active ingredient or
click “display all asthmagens” and search for the active ingredient. Hydrogen peroxide is one example of an active
ingredient that is not listed as an asthmagen by AOEC.
**Please recycle posters and Info Cards that provide generic mixing recipes for bleach.