Environmental cleaning to prevent COVID-19 infection. A rapid systematic review

Sao Paulo Med J. Nov-Dec 2020;138(6):505-514. doi: 10.1590/1516-3180.2020.0417.09092020.

Abstract

Background: Faced with a pandemic, all healthcare actions need to reflect best practices, in order to avoid high transmissibility, complications and even hospitalizations. For hospital environments, the products recommended and authorized by regulatory institutions for environmental cleaning and disinfection need to be highly effective.

Objective: To identify, systematically evaluate and summarize the best available scientific evidence on environmental cleaning to prevent COVID-19 infection.

Design and setting: A systematic review of studies analyzing cleaning products that inactivate coronavirus, conducted within the evidence-based health program of a federal university in São Paulo (SP), Brazil.

Methods: A systematic search of the relevant literature was conducted in the PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, CINAHL and LILACS databases, for articles published up to May 27, 2020, relating to studies evaluating cleaning products that inactivate coronavirus in the environment.

Results: Seven studies were selected. These analyzed use of 70% alcohol, detergent, detergent containing iodine, household bleach, sodium hypochlorite, hydrogen peroxide, chlorine dioxide, glutaraldehyde, ultraviolet irradiation and plasma air purifier. The effectiveness of treating sewage with sodium hypochlorite and chlorine dioxide was also evaluated.

Conclusion: Disinfection of environments, especially those in ordinary use, such as bathrooms, needs to be done constantly. Viral inactivation was achieved using chlorine-based disinfectants, alcohol, detergents, glutaraldehyde, iodine-containing detergents, hydrogen peroxide compounds and household bleaches. Alcohol showed efficient immediate activity. In sewage, sodium hypochlorite had better action than chlorine dioxide.

Registration number: DOI: 10.17605/OSF.IO/YC5P4 in the Open Science Framework.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Brazil
  • COVID-19 / prevention & control*
  • Disinfectants
  • Disinfection / methods*
  • Humans
  • Infection Control / methods*

Substances

  • Disinfectants