What are some additional uses of hydrogen peroxide?
In low concentrations, hydrogen peroxide can be used as a mouth rinse to remove mucus or minor mouth irritations. In the home, it can also be used to help remove mold and mildew stains from dishwashers, disinfect counters and cutting boards, and wash vegetables by removing bacteria from them.
Is hydrogen peroxide harmful if inhaled or ingested?
Diluted hydrogen peroxide products, which typically contain about 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, are safe for regular household use. Hydrogen peroxide in more concentrated forms, for example solutions that contain 30 percent hydrogen peroxide, can be hazardous if not handled properly. These higher concentrations of hydrogen peroxide may be found in industrial settings where bleaching textiles and paper takes place. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s permissible exposure limits for hydrogen peroxide at higher concentrations is 1 part per million over an 8-hour work shift. Inhalation of hydrogen peroxide in the form of vapors, mists, or aerosols can cause asphyxiation in poorly ventilated areas.
Diluted hydrogen peroxide products containing 3 to 5 percent hydrogen peroxide are not easily absorbed through intact skin, but they can be mildly irritating to mucus membranes. Ingestion of hydrogen peroxide of any volume is not recommended.
Is hydrogen peroxide effective as a disinfectant against viruses like COVID-19?
Hydrogen peroxide is active against a wide range of microorganism including bacteria, yeast, fungi and spores. Commercially available 3 percent hydrogen peroxide is a stable and effective disinfectant when used on inanimate surfaces. It has been used in concentrations from 3 to 6 percent for disinfecting ventilators, fabrics and endoscopes. It is also included on the Environmental Protection Agency’s list of antimicrobials active for use against COVID-19.