Cleaning surfaces with hydrogen peroxide-based disinfectants has the potential to pollute the air and pose a health risk, according to research led by University of Saskatchewan (USask).
The research team found that mopping a floor with a commercially available hydrogen peroxide-based disinfectant raised the level of airborne hydrogen peroxide to more than 600 parts per billion — about 60 per cent of the maximum level permitted for exposure over eight hours, and 600 times the level naturally occurring in the air. The results were just published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.
“When you’re washing surfaces, you are also changing the air you are breathing,” said USask chemistry researcher Tara Kahan, senior author of the study and Canada Research Chair in Environmental Analytical Chemistry. “Poor indoor air quality is associated with respiratory issues such as asthma.”
Too much exposure to hydrogen peroxide could lead to respiratory, skin, and