The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is continuing its efforts
to provide critical information on surface disinfectant products that
can be used to protect the health of all Americans throughout the
COVID-19 public health emergency. In support of these efforts, EPA now
has nearly 400 products that have qualified to be effective against
SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. This week the agency also
published an overview (https://www.epa.gov/coronavirus)
of its actions
and resources related to disinfection against the novel coronavirus.
“EPA is dedicated to its mission of protecting human health and we want
all Americans to have access to effective and approved surface
disinfectant products,” said Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, assistant
administrator of EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution
Prevention. “We also want everyone follow the directions on the product
so that we can safely use registered disinfectants and provide critical
protection to our families.”
When using an EPA-registered surface disinfectant, always follow the product’s directions and remember:
• Never apply the product to yourself or others. Do not ingest
disinfectant products. This includes never applying any product on the
agency’s list of disinfectants to use against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that
causes COVID-19 directly to food.
• Never mix products unless specified in the use directions. Certain
combinations of chemicals will create highly toxic acids or gases.
• Wash the surface with soap and water before applying disinfectant products if the label mentions pre-cleaning.
• Follow the contact time listed for your product. This is the amount
of time the surface must remain visibly wet to ensure efficacy against
the virus. It can sometimes be several minutes.
• Wash your hands after using a disinfectant. This will minimize your
exposure to the chemicals in the disinfectant and the pathogen you are
trying to kill.
EPA provides additional information on disinfectant safety messages on
its twitter feeds, @EPA and @EPAChemSafety. These channels will be
updated with new materials throughout the COVID-19 crisis.
To learn more about disinfectant safety, see this guide from our
partner, the National Pesticide Information Center, about using
disinfectants to control COVID-19: