Although the Environmental Protection Agency is working to make identifying greener disinfectants easier through their Design for the Environment (DfE) certifying pilot program, greener alternatives are already available. In fact, regardless of green certification, disinfectant can be a valuable tool in creating a healthy, high-performing indoor environment.

Rather than looking for certified disinfectants, consider the meaning of green — products which “reduce the health and environmental impacts compared to similar products and services used for the same purpose” — to identify preferable products.

For example, it is preferable to select a disinfectant that has a neutral pH (closer to 7) as compared to a product with a pH at the extreme ends of the scale (0 or 14). It is preferable to use a more concentrated product compared to a ready-to-use or less concentrated alternative to reduce environmental impacts from packaging and transportation — and this can save money as well.

If trying to meet green requirements, make sure you have documentation from the manufacturer that the disinfectant meets or exceeds the requirements from the State of California for volatile organic compounds (VOCs).