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Components for Antimicrobial Formulations

Solvents, surfactants, chelants and polymers can play an important role in creating effective antimicrobial formulations. The removal of soils from surfaces is often the first step in this process.

  • Surfactants will lower the surface tension and assist in the wetting and spreading of the active.
  • Solvents aid in the dispersion and dissolution of soils which helps apply the disinfectant to the surface.
  • Chelants help to control divalent cations to help remove tough stains like soap scum and hard water and keep surfactants more soluble, improving performance.
  • Polymers act as dispersants and inhibit scale and soil redeposition, which enables cleaning without residue.

Dow products can be used in accordance with: EPA 40 CFR 180.940 Active and Inert Ingredients for Use in Antimicrobial Formulations (Food-contact surface sanitizing solutions).

  1. The following chemical substances when used as ingredients in an antimicrobial pesticide formulation may be applied to: Food-contact surfaces in public eating places, dairy processing equipment, and food-processing equipment and utensils.
  2. The following chemical substances when used as ingredients in an antimicrobial pesticide formulation may be applied to: Dairy processing equipment, and food-processing equipment and utensils.
  3. The following chemical substances when used as ingredients in an antimicrobial pesticide formulation may be applied to: Food processing equipment and utensils.

40 CFR 180.950 Tolerance exemptions for minimal risk active and inert ingredients.
40 CFR 180.960 Polymers; exemptions from the requirement of a tolerance


Solvent Structure CAS# EPA status Limitation
Butyl CELLOSOLVE™ Solvent  Ethylene glycol monobutyl ether 111-76-2 180.940c None
CARBITOL™ Solvent Diethylene glycol ethyl ether 111-90-0 180.940c None
n-Butanol* Alcohol 71-36-3 180.940a When ready for use, the end-use concentration is not to exceed 100 ppm
Propionic acid Oxo acid 79-09-4 180.940a When ready for use, the end-use concentration is not to exceed 100 ppm
180.940b,c When ready for use, the end-use concentration is not to exceed 297 ppm


Surfactant Structure CAS# EPA status Limitation
ECOSURF™ EH-3, EH-6, EH-9, EH-9 (90%),
EH-14 (90%) Surfactant** 
2-Ethyl hexanol EO-PO nonionic surfactant 64366-70-7 180.940a None
ECOSURF™ SA-4, SA-7, SA-9, SA-15 Surfactant** Seed oil surfactant 68937-66-6, 69227-22-1  180.940a None
Polyglycol EP-436 EO-PO nonionic low foam surfactant  9003-11-6 180.940a, 180.960 None
Polyglycol P 2000*, P-3000*, P-4000* Polypropylene Glycol 25322-69-4 180.960 None
TERGITOL™ 15-S-3,15-S-5, 15-S-7, 15-S-9, 15-S-12,15-S-12 (90%), 15-S-15, 15-S-20, 15-S-20 (80%), 15-S-30, 15-S-40, 15-S-40 (70%) Surfactant Secondary alcohol ethoxylate surfactant 84133-50-6 180.940a None
TERGITOL™ L-61, L-62, L-64, L-81, L-101, HB-5100 Surfactant EO-PO nonionic low foam surfactant 9003-11-6 180.940a 180.960 None
TERGITOL™ MinFoam 1X and MinFoam 2X Surfactant EO-PO nonionic low foam surfactant 68439-51-0 180.940a None
TERGITOL™ NP-9, NP-9.5, N-10, NP-11, NP-12, NP-13 Surfactant Nonylphenol ethoxylates 127087-87-0 180.940a None
TERGITOL™ TMN-3, TMN-6 (90%), TMN-10 (90%), TMN-100X (90%) Surfactant Branched secondary alcohol ethoxylates 60828-78-6 180.940a None
TERGITOL™ XD, XH, XJ Surfactant EO-PO nonionic low foam surfactant 9038-95-3 180.940a None
TERGITOL™ XDLW Surfactant Mixed surfactant 9038-95-3, 84133-50-6 180.940a None
TRITON™ APG (CG-50, BG-10, CG-110) Surfactant Alkyl polyglucosides 68515-73-1 180.940a None
TRITON™ DF-16 Surfactant EO-PO nonionic low foam surfactant 68603-25-8 180.940a None
TRITON™ GR-5M Surfactant Sulfosuccinate 577-11-7, 67-63-0 180.940c None
TRITON™ HW-1000 Surfactant Secondary alcohol ethoxylate 60828-78-6 180.940a None


Chelant Structure CAS# EPA status Limitation
VERSENE™ 100 Chelating Agent Chelant 64-02-8 180.940a None
VERSENE™ 100LN Chelating Agent Chelant 64-02-8 180.940a None


Polymer Structure CAS# EPA status Limitation
ACUSOL™ 445N, 445 ND Polymers Polymers 68479-09-4 40 CFR 180.960 None
CELLOSIZE™ Hydroxyethyl Cellulose QP-15000-H Europe Polymers 9004-62-0 40 CFR 180.950 None
CELLOSIZE™ Hydroxyethyl Cellulose QP-52000-H Europe Polymers 9004-62-0 40 CFR 180.950 None

*Commodity inert
**ECOSURF™ is sold under trade name TERGITOL™ in Canada and Japan.

Nonfood applications

Dow surfactants, solvents, chelants, and polymers can be used in antimicrobial formulations where there is no food contact. Applications may include bathroom cleaners, hard surface cleaners, cleaning wipes, etc. In addition, all food use inert ingredients noted above are also permitted for nonfood use applications where there is no food contact.

For surfaces that may come in contact with food, a potable water, rinse is required.

*Commodity inerts

EPA has developed a list of inert ingredients it has designated as commodity inert ingredients. Registrants and applicants completing the Confidential Statement of Formula (CSF) Form (EPA Form 8570-4) will no longer need to list the commodity inert ingredient suppliers. 

To learn more, please visit: https// commodity-inert-ingredients


Polyglycol CAS# Clearance
CARBOWAX™ Methoxypolyethylene Glycol 350, 550, 750 9004-74-4 Nonfood use
CARBOWAX™ Polyethylene Glycol 200*, 300*, 400*, 540 Blend*, 600*, 1000*, 1450*, 3350*, 4000*, 4000 Aqueous*, 4600*, 6000*, 8000*  25322-68-3 Nonfood use


Surfactant CAS# Clearance
DOWFAX™ 2A1, 3B2, C10L, 8390 Surfactant 119345-04-9, 65143-89-7, 70191-76-3, 36445-71-3 Nonfood use
Polyglycol PT 250, 700, 3000, 4800 9082-00-2 Nonfood use
Polyglycol P-425*, P-600*, 1000TB*, P 1200* 25322-69-4 Nonfood use
TERGITOL™ NP-4, NP-6, NP-7, NP-8, NP-30 (70%), NP-40 (70%), NP-50 (70%) Surfactant 127087-87-0 Nonfood use
TRITON™ APG (CG-425, CG-600, CG-650) Surfactant 68515-73-1, 110615-47-9 Nonfood use
TRITON™ X-15, X-35, X-45, X-100, X-102 and X-114, X-165 (70%), X-305 (70%), X-405 (70%), X-705 (70%) Surfactant 9036-19-5 Nonfood use


Chelant CAS# Clearance
VERSENE™ 220 Crystals Chelating Agent 13235-36-4 Nonfood use
VERSENE™ K4EDTA Chelating Agent 5964-35-2 Nonfood use 


Solvent CAS# Clearance
Butyl CARBITOL™ Solvent 112-34-5 Nonfood use
Butyl CELLOSOLVE™ Acetate 112-07-2 Nonfood use
Diisopropanolamine, LFG 85 110-97-4 Nonfood use
DOWANOL™ PM Glycol Ether 107-98-2 Nonfood use
DOWANOL™ DPM Glycol Ether 34590-94-8 Nonfood use
DOWANOL™ TPM Glycol Ether 25498-49-1 Nonfood use
DOWANOL™ DPnP Glycol Ether  29911-27-1  Nonfood use
DOWANOL™ TPnB Glycol Ether 29911-28-2 Nonfood use
DOWANOL™ PPh Glycol Ether 770-35-4 Nonfood use
DOWANOL™ EPH Glycol Ether 122-99-6 Nonfood use
2-Ethyl-hexanol* 104-76-7 Nonfood use
2 Ethylhexoic acid 149-57-5 Nonfood use
Hexyl CELLOSOLVE™ Solvent 112-25-4 Nonfood use
Isobutanol* 78-83-1 Nonfood use
Isobutyl acetate 110-19-0 Nonfood use
Isopropanol* 67-63-0 Nonfood use
Isopropyl acetate 108-21-4 Nonfood use
Methyl CARBITOL™ Solvent 111-77-3 Nonfood use
n-Butanol* 71-36-3 When ready for use, the end-use concentration is not to exceed 100 ppm
n-Butyl acetate 123-86-4 Nonfood use
n-Propanol* 71-23-8 Nonfood use
n-Propyl acetate 109-60-4 Nonfood use
Primary amyl acetate mixed isomers 628-63-7, 624-41-9 Nonfood use
Triethanolamine 99% LFG 85* 102-71-6 Nonfood use
Trimethylnonanol 123-17-1 Nonfood use
UCAR™ Ester EEP 763-69-9 Nonfood use
Valeric acid 109-52-4 Nonfood use


Polymers CAS# Clearance
ACUSOL™ 445 N, 445 ND Polymers 68479-09-4  Nonfood use
ACUSOL™ 460N Polymer Proprietary Nonfood use
ACUSOL™ 880 Polymer Proprietary Nonfood use
ACUSOL™ Millennium Rheology Modifier Proprietary Nonfood use
ACUSOL™ PRO Hard Surface Polymer Proprietary Nonfood use

*Commodity inert
For more information, please refer to the EPA Inert site:

Product stewardship:
Dow has a fundamental concern for all who make, distribute, and use its products, and for the environment in which we live. This concern is the basis for our product stewardship philosophy by which we assess the safety, health, and environmental information on our products and then take appropriate steps to protect employee and public health and our environment. The success of our product stewardship program rests with each and every individual involved with Dow products - from the initial concept and research, to manufacture, use, sale, disposal, and recycle of each product.

Customer notice: Dow strongly encourages its customers to review both their manufacturing processes and their applications of Dow products from the standpoint of human health and environmental quality to ensure that Dow products are not used in ways for which they are not intended or tested. Dow personnel are available to answer your questions and to provide reasonable technical support. Dow product literature, including safety data sheets, should be consulted prior to use of Dow products. Current safety data sheets are available from Dow.

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