A shortage of a widely used chemical could disrupt the global supply chain for disinfectants, inks, household goods, and many other products, according to a multinational chemical and biotechnology company.

A global shortage exists of a chemical used to make an important preservative called 1,2-benzisothiazol-3(2H)-one, or BIT, Stephanie Lee, communications manager for a division of Lonza, headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, told Bloomberg Environment Aug. 31. The shortage is affecting all BIT manufacturers, she said.

The shortage...