Tables and Figure: Table 4

Guideline for Disinfection and Sterilization in Healthcare Facilities (2008)

Comparison of the characteristics of selected chemicals used as high-level disinfectants or chemical sterilants
Format Change [February 2017]

Update or clarification r17The format of this section was changed to improve readability and accessibility. The content is unchanged.

Disinfection chemical characteristics and recommendations for use.
Chemical Charasterics Hydrogen Peroxide (7.5%) Peracetic Acid (0.2%) Glutaraldehyde (≥2.0%) OPA (0.55%) Hydrogen Peroxide / Peracetic Acid (7.35%/0.23%)
High-level disinfectant claim 30 minutes @ 20°C Not Applicable 20-90 minutes @ 20o-25°C 12 minutes @ 20°C,

5 minutes @ 25°C in AER

15 minutes @ 20°C
Sterilization Claim 6 hours @ 20°C 12 minutes @ 50-56°C 10 hours @ 20o-25°C None 3 h @ 20°C
Activation No No Yes (alkaline glutaraldehyde) No No
Reuse life (number of days a product can be reused as determined by re-use protocol) 21 days Single use 14-30 days 14 days 14 days
Shelf life stability (time a product can remain in storage (unused)) 2 years 6 months 2 years 2 years 2 years
Disposal Restrictions None None Local (no U.S. EPA regulations exist but some states and local authorities have disposal restrictions) Local (no U.S. EPA regulations exist but some states and local authorities have disposal restrictions) None
Materials Compatibility Good Good Excellent Excellent No data
Monitor MEC of solution Yes (6%) No Yes (1.5% or higher) Yes (0.3% OPA) No
Safety Serious eye irritant (safety glasses) Serious eye and skin irritant (conc soln) 5 Respiratory irritant Eye irritant, stains skin Eye irritant
Processing Manual or automated Automated Manual or automated Manual or automated Manual
Organic material resistance Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
OSHA exposure limit 1 ppm TWA None None (The ceiling limit recommended by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists is 0.05 ppm.) None Hydrogen Peroxide -1 ppm (time-weighted average for a conventional 8-hour workday)
Cost profile (per cycle)1 + (manual)

++ (automated)

+++++ (automated) + (manual)

++ (automated)

++ (manual) ++ (manual)
Modified from Rutala. 69

Abbreviations and Footnotes:

OPA ortho-phthalaldehyde (FDA cleared as a high-level disinfectant, included for comparison to other chemical agents used for high-level disinfection)

AER Automated Endoscope Reprocessor

MEC minimum effective concentration is the lowest concentration of active ingredients at which the product is still effective

1 per cycle cost profile considers cost of the processing solution (suggested list price to healthcare facilities in August 2001) and assumes maximum use life (e.g., 21 days for hydrogen peroxide, 14 days for glutaraldehyde), 5 reprocessing cycles per day, 1-gallon basin for manual processing, and 4-gallon tank for automated processing.

= least expensive;

+++++ = most expensive