Chemical disinfectants have certain chemical toxicity, which will cause certain safety risks to medical staff, patients and the environment. The high-efficient disinfectants commonly used in hospitals, such as chlorine containing disinfectants, ethylene oxide, glutaraldehyde, peracetic acid, formaldehyde and hydrogen peroxide, are highly volatile and most of them can be used for air disinfection. Short time exposure to this kind of high concentration disinfectant has strong stimulation on the eyes, skin and respiratory mucosa of medical staff, and causes clinical manifestations such as dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, weakness, chest pain, etc.; long-term exposure to low concentration of disinfectant will also cause certain damage to the eyes, skin and respiratory tract of medical staff, and inhibit the nervous system. The sensitive people exposed to any chemical disinfectant volatilized in the air may cause asthma or reactive airway disease. Some disinfectants also have teratogenic, carcinogenic and mutagenic effects. Therefore, hospital premises should strengthen indoor air circulation, regularly open windows for ventilation, and do not use high level disinfectants or sterilants when disinfection is carried out in the wards.
Ethanol, as a medium effect disinfectant, has a certain degree of irritation and is very volatile, which has a potential health threat to medical staff; while other medium and low efficiency disinfectants, such as iodophor, chlorhexidine, benzalkonium bromide tincture, benzalkonium bromide and so on, are not volatile and have less irritation to human mucosa, so there is no report of damage to health of medical staff.
In addition to medical staff, cleaning staff who use more disinfectants should also be concerned. Studies have shown that the occupational diseases of cleaning personnel are related to the use of a variety of disinfectants (such as formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde, chlorine containing preparations, etc.). Therefore, in the preparation and use of disinfectants, protective measures (such as gloves, appropriate ventilation equipment) should be taken to minimize exposure.