For a long time, disinfecting products have been left out of green cleaning programs. The reason was because by design, disinfectants kill microbes, giving them a pesticide designation, which is not "environmentally preferable." Although disinfectants still maintain their kill claims, more environmentally friendly products have become available for facilities looking to green their cleaning.
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, part one of the program allows qualified disinfectants and sanitizers to bear the DfE logo. Part two allows manufacturers to make approved factual claims about their products, such as dye-free or scent-free.
Distributors, in-house managers and building service contractors have already seen a couple of greener disinfectants hit the market, but there are more to come. The pilot program is expected to run through May 2013.