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Table 2 Active ingredients, chemical formulas, pros and cons of disinfectant-impregnated wipes applications

From: Efficacy of disinfectant-impregnated wipes used for surface disinfection in hospitals: a review

Disinfectant category Example of active ingredients Chemical formula Advantages Shortcomings Ref.
Alcohol Ethyl alcohol (Ethanol) C2H6O Rapid bactericidal effect. No bacteriostatic action. Relatively cheap and easy to obtain. Wet the surface easily. Tend to swell and harden rubber and certain plastics. Not sporicidal. Inflammable. Poor inactivation effectiveness was reported for some virus. Lack of efficacy in the presence of organic debris. Metal corrosive. Difficult in ensuring certain contact time in an open system. [38,39,40,41,42]
Isopropyl alcohol (Isopropanol) C3H8O
Chlorine and chlorine compounds Hypochlorites ClO Most used chlorine disinfectants. Large bactericidal spectrum. No toxic residues. Not affected by water hardness. Inexpensive and fast mode of action. Corrosive to metals (> 500 ppm). Inactivated by organic matter. Irritating and burning for skin, eyes and mucous membranes. Discolour and bleach textiles. Toxic chlorine gas formation in contact with ammonia or acid. [25, 43,44,45]
Chlorine dioxide ClO2 Wide spectrum of biocidal activity. Efficient mycobactericidal activity in short contacts time. It provides prolonged bactericidal effect than chlorine due to its high retain of antimicrobial active ingredients. Long-term use can damage the outer plastic coat of some insertion tubes.
Chloramine-t trihydrate C7H7ClNNaO2S Chlorine retains longer which results in more prolonged bactericidal effect Occupational asthma has been reported.
Peroxygens Hydrogen peroxide H2O2 Satisfying germicidal activity including bacterial spores (with longer contact time). Environment friendly due to its fast degradation. Accelerated hydrogen peroxide (AHP) was developed with widened material compatibility and application variability. May have chemical irritation resembling pseudomembranous colitis [51]
Peracetic acid (PAA) C2H4O3 Rapid action against all microorganisms at low concentration. Reinforced removal of organic material without residue. Effective in the presence of organic matter. Sporicidal at low temperatures Corrosive to copper, brass, bronze, plain steel, and galvanized iron. (corrosion decline by additives and pH modifications) Unstable, particularly when diluted.
Quaternary ammonium compounds (quats or QACs) Alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride C22H40N+ The most commonly used disinfectant in ordinary environmental surfaces with broad spectra of biocidal activity (lipid, enveloped viruses). Sporostatic. Good cleaning and deodorization property. Incorporation of QA moieties into polymers presents effective antimicrobial effect against biofilm. Numerous studies show the adsorption of QACs onto the cotton substrate wiping material, which could lead to the failure of disinfection process. Susceptible with high water hardness. Less effective with gram-negative bacteria and non-enveloped viruses. [47, 52,53,54,55,56,57,58]
Benzyl dimethyl octyl ammonium Chloride C17H30ClN
didecyl dimethyl ammonium chloride C22H48ClN