When my kids get sick, I want to reach for the Lysol spray, just as my mom did and as the marketers of Lysol tell me I should. But is it safe?

The Wiki page on Lysol states this:

The active ingredient in many of the Lysol products is benzalkonium chloride.[1] This ingredient is highly toxic to fish (LC50 = 280 μg ai/L), very highly toxic to aquatic invertebrates (LC50 = 5.9 μg ai/L), moderately toxic to birds (LD50 = 136 mg/kg-bw), and slightly toxic (“safe”) to mammals (LD50 = 430 mg/kg-bw).

The former main chemical ingredient wass cresol, which does have toxicity at some levels. This version is still available commercially. Breathing high levels over a short period of time can cause irritation to the nose and throat. I experience this every time I spray Lysol. And though there is known toxicity at “high” levels, small exposure over a long period of time has not been studied.

In addition, there are other chemicals including Glycol Ethers, O-phenylphenol, formaldehyde and hydrochloric acid that all have health concerns. It is also important to note that Lysol’s formula is considered proprietary, thus the ingredients list may not be fully disclosed. Wonder what else is in there? Possibly phthalates since fragrances are used and these 2 typically go hand-in-hand, but again show knows?

Does this sound like something you want to spray all over your house, furniture, doorknobs, bathroom, nursery, toys, etc? I think I will pass, too.

Daycares overuse Lysol. When my kids were smaller, the thought of my children mouthing toys that have been sprayed so heavily with Lysol there was a film on them made me cringe, of course so did the thought of them mouthing the same toy 11 other babies just mouthed. Ah, the joys of daycare!

Bottom line: really occassional use my have no harmful effects at all (but then again, cummulative exposure has not been studied and chemicals surround most of us every day). Aside from health concerns, there are environmental concerns, like the toxicity to fish, aquadic invertebretes and birds. Concerned parents do have choices. Vote with your wallet! Don’t buy Lysol spray or any Lysol product until their products are reformulated and are truly non-toxic. Vinegar and water will disinfect a toy just as well, without the weird film and chemicals. Not to mention it’s much cheaper. You can also make your own disinfectant spray in seconds! I love it and am much happier with it than Lysol. Is smells so fresh – like a spa – and has no chemicals in it! It disinfects and it is something I actually want to smell!

15 thoughts on “The health effects of Lysol

    1. I am so sick today when someone sprayed lysol in the bathroom, I couldn’t work and my head is hurting, my throat is sore and I feel weak all over. It should be banned.

  1. Exposure to any chemical is not good. There are many effective ways to clean without even chancing exposure. Formaldehyde for example is a none carcinogenic yet is found in everything fromshampoo to lysol. There are natural products that are just as effective yet safe to use.

  2. Have you heard of Norwex?? I just learned about it a couple of months ago, and it is a FAR better alternative to Lysol and other typical household cleaners. They make a super fine microfiber that has silver infused into the fibers! Silver is a natural antibacterial agent, and all you have to use is water and the cloth!! I’ve even done restaurant grade tests to see if they got rid of bacteria, and the tests come clean every time!! If you interested in learning more, go to http://www.hannahrice.norwex.biz …I’m never looking back! 🙂

  3. My beautiful 14 month baby girl got a terrible case of the hives because of thist terribly toxic product. NEVER AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I will tell everyone I can about this poison.

  4. I used Lysol wipes at work to clean my desk today. I noticed the wipes were really wet, from the bottom of the can. Immediately after I cleaned my desk, my stomach became upset. I still feel sick and it’s been 4 hours now. Lysol is nasty. I will never use it again.

  5. Since I was a kid Lysol would immediately give me a sore throat. After more than twenty years I tried Lysol again thinking that it must be better and less toxic. Within an hour I had a sore throat and was sick the whole weekend. Not only does it irritate my throat but it seems to have an effect on my immune system and I find that I cannot not resist any colds or flu viruses that come my way. It kind of defeats the purpose of protecting everyone in the house from germs when it seems to attack the balance within.

  6. Has anyone else gotten a severe skin problem-—such as severe burning and blisters from using it on a toilet seat, from using Lysol?

  7. I used Lysol swipes for a few minutes and I developed vomiting sensation and also I developed eye irritation which lasted for 3 to 4 hours. So please ban this product immediately.

  8. I just came home from the hospital and my face is still swollen. I couldn’t breathe after I sprayed my house, my entire body was becoming very itchy and swelling uncontrollably!!! Paramedics had to come get me =-( I was in the hospital for 5 hours and my face is still swollen:-(

    1. Ethanol is one of the main ingredients in Lysol. In most cleaning products since 2008. Ethanol causes swelling that makes my brain not work properly. I am disabled by this. Lysol is one of the worst products, but there are many. It does not appear to be all ethanol. Not real sure on ethanol in fuel. Fuel here does not have much or any ethanol and I do not get near it often. But most cleaning and sanitizing products make it so I can not process information. I can not read more than a couple of sentences. Normally I could read a 600+ page book in a day. I can not multitask. I can not hold a conversation or use a phone. It effects my speech, vision, motor-controls. Drinking alcohol does not bother me. In fact, it seems to counteract the symptoms of cleaning products. Glyphosate has pretty much the same effects. I believe they are related. I am also having a problem with GMO foods and dairy containing an irritant. The only treatment for this is to get away from the chemicals, but since 2008, ethanol based products are used too much for me to get away from. I need to live and stay away from people. I can’t donate blood for the sole reason that ethanol based products are used in medical facilities. It does not make me sick, it makes my brain not work.

  9. Im having hives brake out on my feet swell up like baloons . from my mom spraying lysol all over everything becouse she got the flu and thought it would kill it . but the flu changes every year so not even lysol can keep up . im so tarrified . i already missed a week of work and now this what will it take to make it go away .needless to say now my mom is in the hosp with savere lung problems. she should have never brought that can into the house .last time this happened to me was fabreeze and then bissle carpet cleaner pet formula . and now my dog feet are puffed up . i cant afford the expense

  10. My parents won’t visit my house because I won’t use Lysol. My daughter and I have asthma and I don’t think it’s safe to be spraying that chemical everywhere. They think it means my house is too dirty to visit.

    1. I left a comment here some years ago. Lysol spray has always made me very ill… going back over thirty years now. I will not use Lysol disinfecting spray, nor the cleaning spray, in my home. My ten-year-old daughter is in chemotherapy and I have to be super diligent about germs, especially when her blood counts drop too low. I use disinfecting wipes by Lysol and by Clorox to keep all the doorknobs, handles, computers/mouse, and surfaces clean. I also use them on backpacks, wallets, phones and remotes. Our situation is more of an extreme, but using anything that is sprayed into the air, that can be inhaled, would do more damage than good. I know Lysol shows spraying surfaces such as pillows and backpacks, but I believe this is hard on anyone’s system, even if they don’t have the severe reactions that some of us have. There are also alternative wipes such as oxivir tb wipes that are better in terms of chemicals. They use them on the oncology floor, as well as other floors, at the hospital. The important thing to consider when using wipes is to use gloves. Disinfecting wipes, as well as sanitizers do wear on the skin causing the skin to readily absorb other harmful chemicals such as BPA’s. Between Lysol and Clorox wipes, I find Clorox to be the least offensive in terms of smell. In terms of cleaning the air, we just recently started using the Mountainaire air purification system by Sunheat model 4000. We are pretty happy with it. It certainly would be good in terms of allergies etc.

  11. I was exposed while waring mask real bad it got in my lungs … first my lungs had chemical pneumonia for a month diarrhea lungs spilling out white froth , blood blisters in groin under arms under Brest and weeks of high blood pressure 200/100 level when awaken went to er cardio care I feel like they look at me like it’s only Lysol I’m still out of work the cns affects and toxic affect is very harmful I never use these products I knew they were bad in 80s people develop a chemical immunity using them me my body can not take it at all

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