The WIDES database is an industry-independent information system and is developed and operated as part of the ecological procurement program “ÖkoKauf Wien”. The database offers comprehensive guidance for the whole of Austria and beyond in the procurement of effective disinfectants that are as gentle as possible for users and the environment. Detailed information on individual products can be found free of charge on the Internet. Only disinfectants that have undergone testing and certification by independent institutions and whose sufficient effectiveness is given are listed. A hazard-based colour code make particularly problematic substances and recipes visible immediately. This marking makes it quick and easy to select those products which have the least impact on human health and the environment. In hygienic risk areas, disinfectants are indispensable and thus part of public procurement in hospitals, nursing homes, but also kindergartens or schools. Due to the corona pandemic, their importance has increased significantly, and other public institutions procure and now regularly use hand and surface disinfectants. However, caution should be exercised when choosing the most suitable products in each case, as there are significant differences in the active ingredients contained, in which significant effects on humans and the environment cannot be excluded.

The disinfectant database is gaining international resonance: In 2017, the WIDES project received a “Honourable Mention” at the Procura Plus Awards of the global city network ICLEI and in 2018 the EU Commission published information on the database as a positive case study for responsible procurement. In 2019 WIDES was awarded by the European Occupational Health and Safety Agency OSHA  as a case study for optimal employee protection. It is also officially recommended in a manual of WHO and ILO.  And finally, the database was used in the SAICM 2.0 project to advise 40 hospitals internationally on the purchase of disinfectants or to select targeted products for substitution. The number of online hits is also considerable with up to 15,000 hits per month. It skyrocketed, especially after the onset of the COVID pandemic.

The Bureau for Chemical Engineering TB-Klade advises the working group from the outset and played a key role in the assessment scheme. The WIDES assessment is based on the precautionary principle. It is most comparable to occupational health and safety assessment models and does not compete with risk assessments. The aim of the assessment is to compare products with identical applications. For example, products for hand disinfection, wiping surface disinfection or manual instrument disinfection are compared with each other. The currently valid rules for the substance and product assessment can be downloaded with “WIDES assessment” while a video serves for convenient explanation. The pdf “Project WIDES” explains the relevance, benefits and public perception of the database.

VIDEO Substance and product assessment of the WIDES database for choosing disinfectants

PDF Wides assessment