How Is Benzalkonium Chloride Helping Combat COVID-19?

All through the first wave of the COVD-19 pandemic in 2020, there was a disinfectant and hand sanitizer procurement frenzy around the world. The virus is well understood to last a significant time on hands and other surfaces, from where it easily enters the lungs through the nose. This is why due to the rising mortality and case burden, sanitizer and disinfectant sales burgeoned last year and continue to remain high still.

P&S Intelligence credits this reason while forecasting that the benzalkonium chloride market revenue will rise from $525.0 million in 2019 to $1,301.1 million by 2030, at a 9.6% CAGR between 2020 and 2030 (forecast period). This is because the chemical is a key ingredient of hand sanitizers and disinfectants, to which it gives the ability to destroy viruses and bacteria. The SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is behind the pandemic, is enveloped by a layer of fat (lipids). Benzalkonium chloride destroys this lipid membrane and kills the virus, which is why its usage in sanitizers and disinfectants has surged during the pandemic.

In this regard, the rising prevalence of hospital-acquired infections (HAI) is a key driver for the benzalkonium chloride market, as it has been propelling the demand for disinfectants. In every 31 hospital patients in the U.S., at least one catches an HAI every day, as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As healthcare settings deal with sick people, HAIs are easily transmitted to healthy people, such as the medical staff and visitors. This is why stringent guidelines are in place to ensure that the healthcare premises, both indoors and outdoors, are regularly disinfected.

As a result of such factors, North America dominated the benzalkonium chloride market during the historical period (2014–2019), a situation that is not expected to change over the forecast period. The region is home to the world’s largest pharmaceutical industry, where this compound is used as an ingredient in baby skin wipes, leave-on sanitizers, and a variety of nasal and ophthalmic preparations. Moreover, the anti-HAI regulations implemented on the U.S.’s healthcare sector are among the most stringent in the world, thereby propelling the consumption of this compound in disinfectant production.

Hence, with the COVID pandemic still not over and awareness on hygiene rising, benzalkonium chloride usage will keep burgeoning.

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