Austria: A disinfectants database — substituting hazardous products in hospitals, schools and other public facilities

Healthy Workplaces Good Practice Awards 2018-2019
Commended organisation 
The use of disinfectants in public facilities is essential for tackling germs and preventing the spread of infection, but often these products contain chemicals that are harmful to human health and the environment. To support the substitution of potentially hazardous disinfectants with safer alternatives, the Vienna Ombuds Office for Environmental Protection, along with several collaborating Austrian institutions, has developed an online disinfectants database, WIDES, which is available in German and English.
Access to the database is free and it allows users — not just in Vienna but anywhere in the world — to quickly and easily compare the efficacy and hazardous properties of more than 200 disinfectants.
The implementation of this database by the City of Vienna and inclusion of it into its public procurement processes has led to a dramatic decline in the use of hazardous substances in its public facilities such as hospitals, schools and care homes.
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