The ongoing health emergency has made the need to maintain an optimal state of hygiene in the living environment and in the person even more evident. As is known, in fact, the virus responsible for Covid-19 can be found in the respiratory tract of infected people and spreads into the environment in the form of tiny droplets, so-called "Pflügge" droplets. Therefore, in order to cope with the circulation and spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and its variants, the health prevention and protection recommendations must be applied in the many indoor home and work environments. In order to "sanitize" all possible sources of contagion (skin, objects, surfaces, clothes, etc.), various types of products are present on the market, from the simple detergents to those classified as medical-surgical devices and biocides, for whose marketing requires a specific technical-scientific evaluation on their efficacy and safety of use for both humans, animals and the environment. In particular, medical-surgical aids are preparations whose industrial production must be authorized by the Ministry of Health, which allows the marketing of only those products that contain authorized active ingredients, that is, included in "positive" lists prepared by the European Union. The inclusion in the list takes place following the verification of the chemical-physical, safety and efficacy characteristics of each individual active ingredient. The main chemical substances effective for disinfection and present in the various preparations are ethanol, quaternary ammonium salts, hydrogen peroxide and sodium hypochlorite, to which water is added, any conditioning agents, humectants, moisturizers and substances thickeners that act on the rheological properties of the compound (carbomer is among the most used). Other active ingredients with antimicrobial activity may also be present (among the most used cetylpyridinium chloride, chlorhexidine digluconate, orthophenylphenol) which, however, in the presence of alcohol at the right concentrations are not necessary, indeed, some are very polluting and could cause resistance in the microorganisms over time. Others, however, of “natural” origin are of dubious efficacy. All products must have appropriate labeling and must be used in accordance with the provisions in order to avoid significant hazards for consumers. However, there are products on the market that carry wordings, signs, pictograms, trademarks and images on the label that lead to any type of sanitizing activity and removal of germs and bacteria, but without the indication of the specific authorization. And it is precisely these products -especially in the placing on the market during the COVID-19 pandemic - that could create false expectations in the user who, attracted by the claims on the label, can be induced to purchase, thus exposing himself to the risk of contagion.

Sanitizing and disinfectant products and consumer protection in a rapidly growing commodity sector

Giancarlo Palumbo
Primo
;
Isabella Maria De Clemente
Ultimo
2021

Abstract

The ongoing health emergency has made the need to maintain an optimal state of hygiene in the living environment and in the person even more evident. As is known, in fact, the virus responsible for Covid-19 can be found in the respiratory tract of infected people and spreads into the environment in the form of tiny droplets, so-called "Pflügge" droplets. Therefore, in order to cope with the circulation and spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and its variants, the health prevention and protection recommendations must be applied in the many indoor home and work environments. In order to "sanitize" all possible sources of contagion (skin, objects, surfaces, clothes, etc.), various types of products are present on the market, from the simple detergents to those classified as medical-surgical devices and biocides, for whose marketing requires a specific technical-scientific evaluation on their efficacy and safety of use for both humans, animals and the environment. In particular, medical-surgical aids are preparations whose industrial production must be authorized by the Ministry of Health, which allows the marketing of only those products that contain authorized active ingredients, that is, included in "positive" lists prepared by the European Union. The inclusion in the list takes place following the verification of the chemical-physical, safety and efficacy characteristics of each individual active ingredient. The main chemical substances effective for disinfection and present in the various preparations are ethanol, quaternary ammonium salts, hydrogen peroxide and sodium hypochlorite, to which water is added, any conditioning agents, humectants, moisturizers and substances thickeners that act on the rheological properties of the compound (carbomer is among the most used). Other active ingredients with antimicrobial activity may also be present (among the most used cetylpyridinium chloride, chlorhexidine digluconate, orthophenylphenol) which, however, in the presence of alcohol at the right concentrations are not necessary, indeed, some are very polluting and could cause resistance in the microorganisms over time. Others, however, of “natural” origin are of dubious efficacy. All products must have appropriate labeling and must be used in accordance with the provisions in order to avoid significant hazards for consumers. However, there are products on the market that carry wordings, signs, pictograms, trademarks and images on the label that lead to any type of sanitizing activity and removal of germs and bacteria, but without the indication of the specific authorization. And it is precisely these products -especially in the placing on the market during the COVID-19 pandemic - that could create false expectations in the user who, attracted by the claims on the label, can be induced to purchase, thus exposing himself to the risk of contagion.
978-954-21-1096-5
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/890013
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