EU Biocidal Products Committee backs disinfectants for use in Europe

Published: 17-Nov-2014

Including glutaraldehyde, which is used to disinfect hard surfaces in hospitals and industrial areas

The Biocidal Products Committee (BPC) of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has approved a key disinfectant as being safe and appropriate for specific uses in the European Union (EU).

Working under the new EU biocidal product regulation, the committee has backed the use of glutaraldehyde, used to disinfect hard surfaces in hospitals and industrial areas. It is also used to disinfect areas coming into contact with animals, food and feed.

The committee said glutaraldehyde kills micro-organisms including gram positive and negative bacteria, fungi (yeasts and moulds), algae, biofilms and viruses.

'The microbes are killed faster at higher concentrations, higher temperatures and higher pH,' said the committee, which added that its efficacy is also enhanced by longer contact time. It said sufficient effectiveness against bacteria was demonstrated, but further studies are needed to demonstrate its potency against fungi, bacterial spores, mycobacteria and viruses.

The committee also backed the use of N,N-Methylenebismorpholine as bactericides in metal working fluids; and 2-methylisothiazol-3(2H)-one, a metalworking fluid preservative.

Final decisions on their approval for use in the EU are made by the European Commission.

The committee is now starting to assess biocidal products in earnest, with 26 biocides having been subject to its detailed assessments and opinions this year.

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