Lysol is a product who's main purpose is to disinfect surfaces once they have been cleaned. It comes in a variety of scents and can sizes which is meant to accommodate any budget and taste. I will say that it is effective at killing germs, both bacterial and viral, and thereby it is useful at suppressing the spread of communicable disease. However, this does come with some serious caveats. Read more below to find out what those are.
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I don't mean to be the buzz kill since I know that most people that use Lysol really love it. However, I have been in the cleaning industry and have done some outside research on different products as a result. And right on the can of Lysol it does say, "Hazard to humans and domestic animals." That means that this product can and will harm you. Ethanol, of which more than 90% of Lysol is composed is toxic. This goes to explain why it will kill 99.9% of bacteria and other harmful biological agents.
This is why they can claim that it is as effective as it is. It is actually effective at killing bacteria and the like because it will kill biological organisms. Humans are biological organisms and thus, are susceptible to it's toxic effects. Though I admit that it would require a great deal more to kill a human being than it would a bacterium. But again, it does state right on the label that it is hazardous to humans. They are allowed to sell it because it is labeled properly as a hazard and there is nothing to stop you from purchasing it as long as you are informed of it's potential hazards, which they do on the labeling according to the guidelines.
But let's think about it this way. Lysol is a toxic chemical agent that they advice you to avoid contact with. Then you spray this toxic chemical from an aerosol can and hundreds of tiny liquid droplets are dispersed into your breathable airspace and that toxic chemical is inhaled by you and those tiny droplets settle inside your lungs and on the mucous membranes on the way to your lungs. There, this toxic chemical agent can interact directly with those tissues. Does this sound healthy to anyone? I strongly urge you to reconsider using this product.
I offer the same warning about using bleach to clean household surfaces. Bleach is caustic and will burn the lining of the lungs. Products that use chlorine bleach, ammonia and, like Lysol, ethanol are poisons and require very thoughtful consideration as to whether the risks to your health are worth the possible benefits. They do kill germs, but only because they kill any biological organism.
An alternative is using tri-ethylene glycol which I know sounds very scary but is used by hospitals to sanitize that very sensitive environment. Rexair does sell this product but you cannot buy it on store shelves, but it can be legally purchased by any consumer. It too does require care of use as do most any chemical agents intended for use as a disinfectant. This is the only one I will use however.
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