Hydrogen Peroxide Vapor As an Indoor Disinfectant: Removal to Indoor Materials and Associated Emissions of Organic Compounds

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Environmental Science & Technology Letters

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Vaporous hydrogen peroxide (VHP) has been used to disinfect a wide range of biological contaminants in buildings. It has attracted renewed attention for inactivation of the SARS-CoV-2 virus on N95 respirators, allowing their subsequent reuse, as well as potential use for decontamination of indoor spaces frequented by those who have COVID-19. Knowledge of VHP removal to indoor materials and associated emissions of organic compounds have not been widely reported but would be valuable for indoor disinfection planning. Twenty-three building materials were individually exposed to VHP at typical disinfectant concentrations in small chamber experiments. Deposition velocities for VHP and area-normalized masses of organic compound release were quantified for each material and compared with results from studies involving ozone (O3) and chlorine dioxide (OClO) at similar disinfectant concentrations using similar materials in the same experimental system. Higher (typically >200 cm h–1) but relatively constant VHP deposition velocities were observed for most materials. In contrast, the deposition velocity for O3 and OClO decayed when exposed to the same materials. Relatively low levels (m–2) of quantified emissions were released from materials over an approximate 6 h period following exposure to VHP, values lower than those observed for ozone.


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