Document Type : Review Article


1 Student Research Committee, Faculty of Health, Hormozgan University of Medical Sciences, Bandar Abbas, Iran

2 Department of Food Quality Control and Hygiene, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

3 School of Health, Arak University of Medical Science, Arak, Iran

4 Cardiovascular Research Center, Hormozgan University of Medical Sciences, Bandar Abbas, Iran

5 Department of Food Science and Technology, National Nutrition and Food Technology Research Institute, Faculty of Nutrition Sciences and Food Technology, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


   At the beginning of 2020, a new coronavirus, namely SARS-CoV-2, has started to spread worldwide leading to the so-called COVID-19 pandemic. The present study aims to review the effectiveness of disinfectants in the prevention and control of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this article, after an introduction to the COVID-19 pandemic, the role of disinfectants in the prevention and control of the COVID-19 pandemic is discussed. To identify the articles, English databases including Google Scholar, Scopus, Science Direct, Web of Science, and PubMed from December 2020 to November 2020 were examined using keywords. There is also a manual search in journals, a collection of abstracts in conferences, and conferences and dissertations. Hand hygiene is a well-accepted principle in preventing the transmission of most infectious diseases. Given that many formulations of sanitizers can be effective against COVID-19, it may alter the integrity and function of the skin barrier and increase the risk of dermatitis on the hands.


  1. Payne S. Family coronaviridae. Viruses. 2017:149.
  2. Park SE. Epidemiology, virology, and clinical features of severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2; Coronavirus Disease-19). Clinical and Experimental Pediatrics. 2020;63(4):119.
  3. Ranaei V, Pilevar Z, Hosseini H. Food safety practices in COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Food Quality and Hazards Control. 2020;7(3):116-8.
  4. Ranaei V, Pilevar Z, Neyestani TR. Can Raising Vitamin D Status Slow Down Covid-19 Waves? Nutrition and Food Sciences Research. 2021;8(1):1-3.
  5. Ranaei V, Yarmohammadi S, Alizadeh L, Dadipoor S, Pilevar Z, Aghamolaei T. Emerging 2019-ncov disease: A narrative review on the personal and social preventive behaviors. Food & Health. 2021; 4(3):13-8.
  6. Kantor J. Behavioral considerations and impact on personal protective equipment use: Early lessons from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2020;82(5):1087-8.
  7. Fung ICH, Cairncross S. Effectiveness of handwashing in preventing SARS: a review. Tropical Medicine & International Health. 2006;11(11):1749-58.
  8. Hirai M, Graham JP, Mattson KD, Kelsey A, Mukherji S, Cronin AA. Exploring determinants of handwashing with soap in Indonesia: a quantitative analysis. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2016;13(9):868.
  9. Ali MM, Verrill L, Zhang Y. Self-reported hand washing behaviors and foodborne illness: a propensity score matching approach. Journal of Food Protection. 2014;77(3):352-8.
  10. Rubin GJ, Amlôt R, Page L, Wessely S. Public perceptions, anxiety, and behaviour change in relation to the swine flu outbreak: cross sectional telephone survey. BMJ. 2009;339.
  11. Park J-H, Cheong H-K, Son D-Y, Kim S-U, Ha C-M. Perceptions and behaviors related to hand hygiene for the prevention of H1N1 influenza transmission among Korean university students during the peak pandemic period. BMC Infectious Diseases. 2010;10(1):1-8.
  12. Chen X, Ran L, Liu Q, Hu Q, Du X, Tan X. Hand hygiene, mask-wearing behaviors and its associated factors during the COVID-19 epidemic: A cross-sectional study among primary school students in Wuhan, China. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020;17(8):2893.
  13. Levin J, Miller R. A guide to the ingredients and potential benefits of over-the-counter cleansers and moisturizers for rosacea patients. The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology. 2011;4(8):31.
  14. Rundle CW, Presley CL, Militello M, Barber C, Powell DL, Jacob SE, et al. Hand hygiene during COVID-19: recommendations from the American Contact Dermatitis Society. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2020;83(6):1730-7.
  15. Abtahi‐Naeini B. Frequent handwashing amidst the COVID‐19 outbreak: prevention of hand irritant contact dermatitis and other considerations. Health Science Reports. 2020;3(2):e16.
  16. Danby SG, Brown K, Wigley AM, Chittock J, Pyae PK, Flohr C, et al. The effect of water hardness on surfactant deposition after washing and subsequent skin irritation in atopic dermatitis patients and healthy control subjects. Journal of Investigative Dermatology. 2018;138(1):68-77.
  17. Masood S, Tabassum S, Naveed S, Jalil P. COVID-19 Pandemic & skin care guidelines for health care professionals. Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences. 2020;36(COVID19-S4):S115.
  18. Lan J, Song Z, Miao X, Li H, Li Y, Dong L, et al. Skin damage among health care workers managing coronavirus disease-2019. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2020;82(5):1215-6.
  19. Derksen C, Keller FM, Lippke S. Obstetric Healthcare Workers’ Adherence to Hand Hygiene Recommendations during the COVID‐19 Pandemic: Observations and Social‐Cognitive Determinants. Applied Psychology: Health and Well‐Being. 2020;12(4):1286-305.
  20. Taghrir MH, Borazjani R, Shiraly R. COVID-19 and Iranian medical students; a survey on their related-knowledge, preventive behaviors and risk perception. Archives of Iranian Medicine. 2020;23(4):249-54.
  21. Moore LD, Robbins G, Quinn J, Arbogast JW. The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on hand hygiene performance in hospitals. American Journal of Infection Control. 2021;49(1):30-3.
  22. Draelos ZD. The science behind skin care: Cleansers. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. 2018;17(1):8-14.
  23. Hellstern P, Solheim BG. The use of solvent/detergent treatment in pathogen reduction of plasma. Transfusion Medicine and Hemotherapy. 2011;38(1):65-70.
  24. Mauleón C, Mauleón P, Chavarría E, De La Cueva P, Suárez R, Pablo L. Airborne contact dermatitis from n‐alkyl dimethylbenzylammonium chloride and n‐alkyl dimethylethyl‐benzylammonium chloride in a detergent. Contact Dermatitis. 2006;55(5):311-2.
  25. Xu S, Kwa M, Lohman ME, Evers-Meltzer R, Silverberg JI. Consumer preferences, product characteristics, and potentially allergenic ingredients in best-selling moisturizers. JAMA Dermatology. 2017;153(11):1099-105.
  26. Swain SK. Practice of handwashing: An effective tool to control COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of the Scientific Society. 2021;48(2):60.
  27. Kilpatrick C, Allegranzi B, Pittet D. WHO first global patient safety challenge: clean care is safer care, contributing to the training of health-care workers around the globe. International Journal of Infection Control. 2011;7(2).
  28. Ghafoor D, Khan Z, Khan A, Ualiyeva D, Zaman N. Excessive use of disinfectants against COVID-19 posing potential threat to living beings. Current Research in Toxicology. 2021.
  29. Chartier Y, Adams J, Bartram J. Essential environmental health standards in health care. Geneva: WHO. 2008.
  30. Organization WH. Cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces in the context of COVID-19: interim guidance, 15 May 2020. World Health Organization; 2020.
  31. Slaughter R, Mason R, Beasley D, Vale J, Schep L. Isopropanol poisoning. Clinical Toxicology. 2014;52(5):470-8.
  32. Mahmood A, Eqan M, Pervez S, Alghamdi HA, Tabinda AB, Yasar A, et al. COVID-19 and frequent use of hand sanitizers; human health and environmental hazards by exposure pathways. Science of the Total Environment. 2020;742:140561.
  33. Schyllert C, Rönmark E, Andersson M, Hedlund U, Lundbäck B, Hedman L, et al. Occupational exposure to chemicals drives the increased risk of asthma and rhinitis observed for exposure to vapours, gas, dust and fumes: a cross-sectional population-based study. Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 2016;73(10):663-9.
  34. Salomone A, Bozzo A, Di Corcia D, Gerace E, Vincenti M. Occupational exposure to alcohol-based hand sanitizers: the diagnostic role of alcohol biomarkers in hair. Journal of Analytical Toxicology. 2018;42(3):157-62.
  35. Vogel L. Hand sanitizers may increase norovirus risk. Canadian Medical Association Journal. 2011;183(12): E799–E800.
  36. Weber DJ, Rutala WA, Anderson DJ, Chen LF, Sickbert-Bennett EE, Boyce JM. Effectiveness of ultraviolet devices and hydrogen peroxide systems for terminal room decontamination: focus on clinical trials. American Journal of Infection Control. 2016;44(5):e77-e84.
  37. Kratzel A, Todt D, V’kovski P, Steiner S, Gultom M, Thao TTN, et al. Inactivation of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 by WHO-recommended hand rub formulations and alcohols. Emerging Infectious Diseases. 2020;26(7):1592.
  38. Kampf G, Todt D, Pfaender S, Steinmann E. Persistence of coronaviruses on inanimate surfaces and their inactivation with biocidal agents. Journal of Hospital Infection. 2020;104(3):246-51.
  39. Lantagne D, Wolfe M, Gallandat K, Opryszko M. Determining the Efficacy, safety and suitability of disinfectants to prevent emerging infectious disease transmission. Water. 2018;10(10):1397.
  40. Barrett MJ, Babl FE. Alcohol-based hand sanitiser: a potentially fatal toy. Medical Journal of Australia. 2015;203(1):43-4.
  41. Lachenmeier DW. Safety evaluation of topical applications of ethanol on the skin and inside the oral cavity. Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology. 2008;3(1):1-16.
  42. Wilson M, Guru P, Park J. Recurrent lactic acidosis secondary to hand sanitizer ingestion. Indian Journal of Nephrology. 2015;25(1):57.
  43. Bouthoorn SH, Van der Ploeg T, Van Erkel NE, Van der Lely N. Alcohol intoxication among Dutch adolescents: acute medical complications in the years 2000-2010. Clinical Pediatrics. 2011;50(3):244-51.
  44. Vonghia L, Leggio L, Ferrulli A, Bertini M, Gasbarrini G, Addolorato G, et al. Acute alcohol intoxication. European Journal of Internal Medicine. 2008;19(8):561-7.
  45. Kampf G, Muscatiello M, Häntschel D, Rudolf M. Dermal tolerance and effect on skin hydration of a new ethanol-based hand gel. Journal of Hospital Infection. 2002;52(4):297-301.
  46. Knotzer S, Kindermann J, Modrof J, Kreil TR. Measuring the effectiveness of gaseous virus disinfectants. Biologicals. 2015;43(6):519-23.
  47. Aline K-SA, Adou-Assoumou M, Djolé SX, Diemer F, Gurgel M. The effects of sodium hypochlorite on organic matters: Influences of concentration, renewal frequency and contact area. Iranian Endodontic Journal.15(1):18-22.
  48. Iqbal Q, Lubeck-Schricker M, Wells E, Wolfe MK, Lantagne D. Shelf-life of chlorine solutions recommended in Ebola virus disease response. PLoS One. 2016;11(5):e0156136.
  49. Jayaprakash A, Srividhya Muralidharan PJ, Devendran G. Potent Action of Disinfectant in Targeting Spread of COVID-19 Using Drones. International Journal of Research in Engineering, Science and Management. 2020;3(5):808-10.
  50. Kariwa H, Fujii N, Takashima I. Inactivation of SARS coronavirus by means of povidone-iodine, physical conditions and chemical reagents. Dermatology. 2006;212(Suppl. 1):119-23.
  51. Eggers M, Koburger-Janssen T, Eickmann M, Zorn J. In vitro bactericidal and virucidal efficacy of povidone-iodine gargle/mouthwash against respiratory and oral tract pathogens. Infectious Diseases and Therapy. 2018;7(2):249-59.
  52. Whitby M, McLaws M-L, Ross MW. Why healthcare workers don't wash their hands: a behavioral explanation. Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology. 2006;27(5):484-92.
  53. Erasmus V, Brouwer W, Van Beeck E, Oenema A, Daha T, Richardus JH, et al. A qualitative exploration of reasons for poor hand hygiene among hospital workers lack of positive role models and of convincing evidence that hand hygiene prevents cross-infection. Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology. 2009;30(5):415-9.