How Is Lysol Health Hazardous?

By Jennifer Lanier

Lysol disinfectant sprays claim to kill 99.9 percent of germs, but they may carry risks to humans as well.

Identification

According to the manufacturer's website, Lysol brand disinfecting spray contains ethanol, water, isobutane, tetrasodium EDTA, propane, fragrance, sodium benzoate, borate compounds and ammonia compounds.

Function

Lysol Anti-Bacterial Action Spray contains 79 percent denatured ethanol, which may cause irritation of the eyes and mucous membranes and may cause central nervous system depression if inhaled or ingested.

Significance

In an investigative report by CBC News in Canada in which levels of VOC's (volatile organic compounds) were measured, Lysol spray was found to contain 1,200 parts per million. These levels are 1,000 times as much as Clorox cleaning wipes at 1,000 parts per billion, and much higher than the 500 parts per billion considered safe for humans.

Potential

Lysol disinfecting spray contains ammonium hydroxide, a suspected respiratory toxin, which may be linked to a variety of pulmonary conditions, including bronchitis, pulmonary edema, emphysema, and cancer.

Warning

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, at least half of the ingredients in Lysol have not been fully tested for possible health risks to humans.

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