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Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
USDA FAQ's and resources about coronavirus (COVID-19).  LEARN MORE


Most disinfection methods or disinfectant products have some level of hazard. Most can cause irritation to the eyes, skin, and/or the respiratory tract. Some may cause allergic reactions, such as allergic dermatitis; others may cause burns or other injury. Physical hazards are also possible while conducting C&D procedures. These may include slips, trips or falls from slippery surfaces; heat exposure or burns from hot water, or skin punctures from high pressure sprayers.

The safety of all personnel is paramount when handling, mixing, and applying chemical disinfectants. Training of personnel on the proper mixing, application procedures, and hazards is essential. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as gloves, masks, or goggles, should be worn during the mixing or application of disinfectants. All chemical disinfectants have a Safety Data Sheets listing the stability, hazards, and personal protection needed for the product, as well as first aid information; all of this safety data is also included on the product label.

Many chemical products may be toxic to animals or environment. Efforts to avoid exposure of animals or runoff into the environment should be taken.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Hazard Communication standard (29 CFR 1910.1200) is designed to ensure that information about hazards and associated protective measures is communicated to workers. Training must be provided if the hazardous chemicals are used. This training must be provided before personnel begin using the product.

The Worker Protection Standard (WPS) is a regulation issued by EPA under the authority of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA; Title 40 CFR part 170), that requires the protection of employees from agricultural pesticides.​ (Navigate to Title 40 using the drop down menu.)

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