DISPATCH Disinfectant Towels with Bleach Receive EPA Registration to Kill C diff Spores in 5 Minutes

The Clorox Company announces that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved the registration of DISPATCH® Hospital Cleaner Disinfectant Towels with Bleach to kill Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) spores in five minutes,(1) the fastest C. difficile contact time available.(2) This is the first bleach-based wipe to receive EPA registration for C. difficile,(3) a spore-forming bacterium found in the intestines that can cause a variety of symptoms, from diarrhea to more serious life-threatening intestinal disease. A survey by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control (APIC) found that the C. difficile incidence estimate of 13 out of every 1,000 inpatients either infected or colonized with C. difficile is 6.5 to 20 times greater than previous incidence estimates.(4)

DISPATCH® towels with bleach clean and disinfect hard, non-porous surfaces quickly and effectively in just one step. The towels are pre-moistened with a unique 1:10 stable sodium hypochlorite (bleach) solution like the concentration that is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) guidelines for effective disinfecting against the toughest healthcare pathogens, including C. difficile. DISPATCH® towels with bleach are EPA-registered to kill 26 additional pathogens that cause healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). DISPATCH® towels with bleach can be used on multiple surfaces in healthcare settings, including plastic, plastic laminate, stainless steel, sealed fiberglass and glazed porcelain.

"Clorox understands the critical need for tools to help combat healthcare-associated infections like C. difficile," says Craig Stevenson, vice president and general manager of the Clorox Professional Products Division. "The EPA registration of DISPATCH® towels with bleach to kill C. difficile in five minutes showcases our continued commitment to delivering products that meet the needs of healthcare facilities nationwide to help fight this growing problem."

DISPATCH® towels with bleach are ready to use and offered in multiple packaging options that can be adapted for use in various healthcare locations:

- DISPATCH® Canister (150-count, 6.75" x 8" towels) Designed for use in the ER, radiology, ICU, OR, isolation rooms, GI suite and nurses stations. With the Select-a-Size feature, bleach towels can be dispensed one or two at a time to adjust to the task. Each towel covers approximately 10 square feet.

- DISPATCH® Soft Pack (60-count, 9" x 10" towels) Each bleach towel contains covers at least 18 ft² of surface while staying wet. A user-friendly re-sealable package maintains towel moistness.

- DISPATCH® Patient Transport SolutionTM (40-count, 8" x 10" towels) Designed to travel on wheelchairs, gurneys, IV poles, beds and other transport devices. The package is designed to attach directly to any type of point-of-care equipment or fit into a small drawer.

- DISPATCH® Individually Wrapped Towels (50-count, 7" x 8" towels) Designed for disinfecting needs on the go and at blood draw and nursing stations. Each 7" x 8" bleach towel will "wet cover" approximately 10 square feet.  

Controlling healthcare-associated infections is a priority for hospitals nationwide. With Clostridium difficile rates recently surpassing Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) infections in hospitals, facilities are focusing efforts to develop new protocols and procedures to help combat the spread of C. difficile.(5)

Leading infection prevention and healthcare industry leaders recommend and support the use of bleach-based solutions to kill C. difficile spores as part of a broader prevention program. In fact, 8 out of 10 hospitals are currently using bleach or bleach-based products when C. difficile is detected.(6)

"Along with 10 other hospitals in Illinois, we were challenged to reduce C. difficile infections in our hospital over an 18-month period," says Karen Martin, director of infection control and environmental services, Advocate Christ Medical Center and Hope Children's Hospital. "To achieve this, we instituted a bundled approach that included bleach-based products. As a result of our approach, we exceeded the C. difficile reduction expectations in 12 months."

In September 2010, the EPA registered DISPATCH® Hospital Cleaner Disinfectant with Bleach spray to kill Clostridium difficile spores in five minutes,(7) the fastest contact time available. Clorox acquired DISPATCH® brands, from Midland, Mich.-based Caltech Industries, a national leader in healthcare disinfecting products. Through the acquisition, the newly formed healthcare business has become a leading provider of bleach-based disinfectants in more than 2,500 acute-care facilities across the nation.

The DISPATCH® portfolio offering is part of a comprehensive C. difficile solution program offered by Clorox. The company also offers a C. difficile Prevention Kit featuring a protocol and checklist for terminal cleaning of C. difficile isolation rooms, information on bleach efficacy when it comes to fighting C. difficile spores, a calculator estimating the financial impact on C. difficile on acute-care facilities and infection prevention training and education videos.


1. C. difficile spore claim has been registered by the Federal EPA and may not yet be available in all 50 states. Check with your sales representative for updates in your state. Use as directed on precleaned hard, nonporous surfaces.

2. Based on Federal EPA registration contact times as of March 2011.

3. Based on Federal EPA registrations as of March 2011.

4. Association for Professionals in Infection Control, "Intestinal Infection Afflicts 13 of 1,000 Hospital Patients; Infection Rates 6.5-20 Times Greater Than Previous Estimates, New Study Says," November 11, 2008.

5. Fifth Decennial International Conference on Healthcare-Associated Infections (ICHAI) 2010: Abstract 386, presented March 20, 2010; Abstract 142, presented March 19, 2010.

6. Based on a survey conducted between February and March 2010 of Infection Preventionists and Environmental Services decision-makers at 278 hospitals, when asked to "identify situations in hospitals when bleach and bleach-based products are currently used."

7. C. difficile spore claim has been registered by the Federal EPA and may not yet be available in all 50 states.