by John Wallace

Strict guidelines and certain measures of the Affordable Care Act emphasis the importance of cleanliness for hospitals and healthcare facilities. Healthcare-acquired infections continue to be a concern, especially when such incidents could impact the bottom line for these facilities. The recent Ebola scare also places more emphasis on sterile healthcare environments.

These are just some of the reasons experts predict growth in the surface disinfectants market as part of the overall global sterilization equipment and disinfectants market.

The global sterilization equipment and disinfectants market was valued at $5.13 billion in 2012 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.5 percent during the forecast period ending in 2019. It is predicted to reach a market value of $9.15 billion by 2019, according to Transparency Market Research.

Disinfectants and sterilization equipment are used to sterilize various medical instruments, laboratory equipment and pharmaceutical components as well as surfaces throughout hospitals and healthcare facilities. Sterilization and disinfectants are a vital component for infection-control as medical devices, surgery suites and patient rooms require sterilization and disinfection after usage.

An aging population is another reason for the growth of this market. In addition, the increasing number of surgeries being performed each year also impacts the market.

The market for disinfectants has been segmented as low, intermediate and high level and oxidizing and non-oxidizing disinfectants, according to the report. The low, intermediate and high level disinfectants market is expected to grow at the highest CAGR of 7.0 percent during the forecast period because there are many companies active in manufacturing these particular disinfectants, according to Transparency Market Research. Also, the application area is wider, unlike oxidizing and non-oxidizing disinfectants, which has a limited scope.

Sterilization equipment and disinfectants are utilized in three major application areas – medical devices, life-sciences and pharmaceutical companies. The market for sterilization equipment and disinfectants in medical devices applications accounted for the largest share (60.8 percent) of the total market in 2012 and is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period.

The North American region accounted for the largest share in terms of revenue of the total market for sterilization equipment and disinfectants.

A Global Industry Analysts Inc. report indicated “that outbreaks of infectious diseases and epidemics,” have made spending on cleaning and disinfectant products less discretionary and more indispensable.

Recent Ebola cases have added to the concerns regarding the need for a sterile environment in developing nations as well as in the U.S., where some patients have received treatment.

The Global Industry Analysts report says that the global disinfectants market will remain strong because sanitation and hygiene are essential.

Aerosol and liquid products are the most commonly used surface disinfectants. However, more hospitals and healthcare facilities are using ultraviolet (UV) disinfection systems as an added measure.

The Global Industry Analysts Inc. report indicates that major players in the global disinfectants marketplace include 3M Company, Ecolab Inc., Henkel KGaA, Kao Corporation, Prestige Brands Inc., Procter & Gamble Co., Reckitt Benckiser Plc, SC Johnson & Son Inc., Sealed Air Corporation Diversey Inc., The Clorox Company, Unilever Plc, and Zep Inc.