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It’s a common occurrence in Nurseries and Child Care Centers around the globe. Facilities condone the practice of spraying toys with Lysol Disinfectant Spray (or another similar product), allowing toys to air dry, and returning them immediately for use.

What they often don’t realize, is that this is not the intended use for Lysol Spray. In fact, leaving Lysol Disinfectant residue on toys and surfaces is a chemical hazard, and can cause serious health risks in young children who come in contact with them.

The Health Risks of Lysol Disinfectant Spray

The ingredients in Lysol Spray carries significant health risks, more so than other disinfectant products of it’s kind. It contains denatured ethanol, which can affect the eyes, mucous membranes, and can affect the central nervous system if inhaled or ingested.

Lysol Disinfectant Spray also contains ammonium hydroxide, which is thought to be a respiratory toxin, and is linked to serious health conditions such as bronchitis, pulmonary edema, emphysema, and cancer.

How to use Lysol Disinfectant Spray Properly

When using any product that contains chemicals, I urge you to read the directions carefully before use. Lysol Disinfectant Spray should be used away from children and animals, in a well-ventilated area, and all toys and surfaces should be rinsed with warm water after application to remove any chemicals.

Read your bottle of Lysol Disinfectant Spray for specific instructions.

Alternative Options for Disinfecting Children’s Toys

Disinfecting toys without the use of toxic chemicals is easy.

Vinegar is an effective disinfectant, and can be used as a spray on toys and surfaces, or to soak toys. It can be used in concentrated form or diluted with water. Try a 50/50 mix of distilled vinegar and water. Allow toys to air dry before returning for use.

Toys can also be washed in hot, soapy water, rinsed, allowed to dry, and returned for use.

What You Can Do

Have you personally seen the misuse of Lysol Disinfectant Spray? If so, what can you do to alert those involved and let them know that you are concerned?

If you are involved with the facility directly, the first step would be to approach the director and let them know that you are concerned about the misuse of disinfectant sprays and about the safety of the children. You can then direct them to information about the correct use of Lysol Spray, and about other less hazardous methods of disinfecting toys and equipment.

The next step is to write a letter to any local churches, daycares, preschools, and other facilities in your area that deal with children’s toys and equipment. The letter should inform them of this common error and what they can do about it.

Sign the Petition

The makers of Lysol are mostly responsible for the misuse of their product. Commercials representing Lysol Disinfectant Spray depict a mother spraying toys and surfaces, but never depict the mother washing off the chemicals. In other words, they never show the mother completing the process of correct use, as if to misrepresent the product’s correct use, and to create a false assumption of it’s ease of use.

If you think that the makers of Lysol should apologize and correct this false assumption they have created, Sign the Petition.

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Vanessa Pruitt
Vanessa Pruitt is the mother of 4 boys and the founder of Natural Family Today. She wants people to know that living naturally is about taking one step at a time toward a healthier, happier life. Learn more...
Vanessa Pruitt

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9 Responses to The Misuse of Lysol Disinfectant Spray, Plus Safer Alternatives

  1. Laura Weirich Laura says:

    Our day care didn’t use Lysol.  The state licensing board advocates using bleach diluted with water (which I like a lot less than vinegar because it’s not edible but as one friend of mine pointed out bleach does break down when diluted and over time).   The ratio is 10 parts water to 1 part bleach.  You do have to be more careful because it can whiten the colors of things and be harmful if it’s not diluted properly unlike Vinegar.

  2. Sharon H. says:

    Household vinegar is only a 5% solution, meaning the bottle is 95% water.  No need to dilute further.  I would not rely only upon the disinfecting power of household vinegar however.  It’s just not strong enough to kill a lot of germs, from what I’ve read.  A very dilute bleach solution (the bottle gives the strength, and it’s very little, like 2 Tbs per gallon) will air dry and not require further treatment.  Bleach must be kept away from children because it is quite dangerous in its undiluted form.  But as chemists say, “dilution is the solution.”  And it breaks down into water and salt over a very short time.  JMHO

  3. […] first got me interested in living in a different way was when I started to research the health effects of said chemicals. I was surprised to learn that the products we were using could be harmful to our […]

  4. […] Disinfectants play a vital role within bathrooms, nurseries, and many other areas where germs like to proliferate. Unfortunately, chemical cleaners such as Lysol and others contain ingredients like ammonium hydroxide, denatured ethanol, and other goodies that like to cause respiratory problems and irritate mucous membranes. There is even some evidence that they can seriously impact the nervous system. […]

  5. Adria says:

    Melaleuca has a natural option!: Soluguard- kills 99.9% of germs and even the AIDS virus and H1N1 with the power of lemon and thyme!! It’s cost-effective, too. A must have! Email me for information –ams@bresnan.net

  6. […] The treatment involved the daily changing of compression garments and he was instructed to spray Lysol on one of the bandage sets every night in between the treatments. Seriously? They want me to spray […]

  7. brittany says:

    If this product is used inappropriately like for “disinfecting” the air and sprayed every 15 mins in a very small office with no ventilation but an open door, if its breathed what can happen to ones body?
    brittany recently posted…Natural Family Friday 12/27/13My Profile

  8. TARA says:

    I’m with Brittany. What does this do to you. Because I am in a small office where they spray everytime someone coughs or sneezes.
    It gives me headaches from breathing the Lysol.

    I have complained to HR and they “compromised” by telling the people who do the spraying that they should just be spraying on hard surfaces, not into the air.

    I personally think this is just as dangerous. The fumes go everywhere.

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