Statistically, disinfectant products are left out of green cleaning programs because they are designed to kill microbes, giving them a pesticide designation, which is not “environmentally preferable.” Although disinfectants will maintain their kill claims, more environmentally friendly products might soon be available.

In December 2009, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency launched a voluntary two-part pilot program for disinfectants and sanitizers. After review by the EPA Design for the Environment (DfE) program and the Office of Pesticide Program, one part of the program will allow qualified disinfectants and sanitizers to bear the DfE logo, and the other will allow manufacturers to make approved factual claims about their products, such as dye-free or scent-free.

Distributors, in-house managers and building service contracts can expect to see approved disinfectant products towards the end of 2010, but the pilot program is expected to go through May 2013.