Ecolab’s OxyCide Disinfectant Linked to Severe Allergic Reactions Among Hospital Staff, Other Healthcare Workers

Hospital employees and others who worked in healthcare settings where OxyCide cleaning products were used on a regular basis may be at risk for asthma-like symptoms, skin reactions, breathing problems or other serious or potentially life-threatening injuries from the powerful disinfectant. OxyCide is marketed by its manufacturer as a daily disinfectant that can keep patients safe by killing potentially harmful pathogens, such as Clostridioides difficile and Candida auris. However, the disinfectant may actually pose a serious health risk to hospital staff. If you have been repeatedly exposed to OxyCide in a hospital, nursing home, assisted living facility or as a nurse or janitorial staff on a cruise ship, and you have required treatment for your injuries, you may be entitled to compensation, which you can pursue by filing an OxyCide injury lawsuit against Ecolab. Contact an experienced product liability lawyer as soon as possible to find out if you are eligible to file a claim.

What is OxyCide?

OxyCide is a one-step disinfectant manufactured by Ecolab, Inc. The disinfectant is primarily used to kill bacteria and viruses in hospitals, labs and other healthcare settings where pathogens like Clostridioides difficile (C. diff) and Candida auris are prevalent. Since the early 2000’s, Ecolab has marketed OxyCide Daily Disinfectant Cleaner and OxyCide Dilution Management System to hospitals and other healthcare facilities as a safer, “non-bleach” alternative to other cleaners for reducing the risk of C. diff infections and infections caused by other pathogens. C. diff is a bacterium that causes diarrhea and colitis, a condition characterized by inflammation of the colon. The CDC reports that C. diff causes approximately 500,000 illnesses in the United States every year and a risk factor for C. diff infections is extended stays in hospitals, nursing homes or other healthcare settings. Ecolab claimed with its OxyCide products that the disinfectant could combat such infections while also helping to “standardize and simplify your cleaning process for improved operational efficiency.”

What are the Risks of OxyCide Exposure?

The active ingredients in OxyCide cleaning products are hydrogen peroxide and acetic acid, which combine to form peracetic acid, an organic compound that can cause serious side effects, even at low levels of exposure. Peracetic acid is a known toxin and repeated exposure to the compound has been linked to asthma, respiratory problems and serious skin reactions, among other problems. In fact, Ecolab allegedly knew that peracetic acid could be dangerous and warned that OxyCide could irritate the nose, throat or lungs. However, the company fell woefully short of providing adequate warnings about the potential safety risks of OxyCide exposure or recommending specific safety measures to avoid dangerous exposure in healthcare settings, such as wearing personal protective equipment or avoiding use in enclosed spaces.

Faced with adverse event reports describing side effects allegedly caused by exposure to OxyCide, Ecolab chose not to recall the product or issue warnings to consumers and the healthcare community. Instead, the company ignored the consumer complaints and also allegedly withheld data from internal tests in order to conceal the true safety risks associated with OxyCide. By failing to issue proper warnings about the potential health risks of OxyCide exposure, Ecolab is accused of knowingly putting consumers at risk for serious, potentially irreversible health complications. Among the numerous injuries allegedly associated with exposure to OxyCide are:

  • Skin burns and rashes
  • Asthma-like symptoms
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Stinging and watering eyes
  • Headaches
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Burning or sore throat and lungs
  • Chemical burns in throat
  • Burning nose and nose bleeds
  • Allergic rhinitis and sinusitis
  • Bronchospasms
  • Dizziness and nausea
  • Tightness in chest
  • Vocal cord dysfunction

Some people may only suffer minor symptoms from exposure to OxyCide, while others may suffer a severe allergic reaction or another problem requiring hospitalization. Repeated or prolonged exposure to OxyCide’s active ingredient has been found to cause liver damage and kidney damage and may also increase the risk of pulmonary edema and serious circulatory problems.

How You Can Pursue Compensation for Alleged OxyCide Injuries

Many hospital employees and other workers in healthcare settings have been repeatedly exposed to OxyCide cleaning products, completely unaware that the disinfectant can harm their health. Unfortunately, hospital staff and other healthcare workers who suffer severe allergic reactions after repeated or prolonged exposure to OxyCide disinfectant may have to leave their jobs or could even end up being hospitalized for their injuries. As a result, Ecolab faces lawsuits from consumers who suffered side effects allegedly caused by exposure to OxyCide disinfectant and accuse the company of negligently producing and distributing a dangerous product. For more information about OxyCide disinfectant-related injuries or to discuss the possibility of filing an OxyCide injury lawsuit against Ecolab, contact a knowledgeable product liability lawyer today. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of future earning capacity and other related damages from Ecolab, so don’t hesitate to get legal help.