Disinfectant for Coronavirus – EPA Approved List and Why Your Sanitizer May Fall Short

Written by Phil Rossi

NowRx Pharmacy

NowRx Pharmacy cleaning supplies on table

In the past two weeks, searches for disinfectant, cleaning products and sanitizer have skyrocketed as coronavirus has spread throughout the US.

However, which products are actually effective in killing COVID-19?

Here is the EPA approved list of Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2, otherwise known as COVID-19.

You can use this list when purchasing a product by checking to see if the EPA registration number is included on this list. You can find this number on the product label – EPA Reg No.  

How Do I Check If a Disinfectant Is on the List?

Although products may be marketed under different names, if they have the same EPA registration number, they are the same product.

When purchasing a product, check if its EPA registration number is included on this list. If it is, you have a match and the product can be used against SARS-CoV-2.

You can find this number on the product label – just look for the EPA Reg. No. Products may be marketed under different names, but if they have the same EPA registration number, they’re the same product.  

How Does the EPA Know These Products Work on Coronavirus?

The products included on this list have not been tested against SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19. They’re approval and expectation of efficacy is based on:

  • Demonstrated efficacy against harder-to-kill virus;
  • Qualified for the emerging viral pathogens claim
  • Demonstrated efficacy against another human coronavirus similar to SARS-CoV-2

SARS-CoV-2 is a new virus and such pathogens are unavailable for commercial testing. You should be weary of any disinfectant products or services that make claims of laboratory testing.  

I Don’t See a Product on the List – Is it Effective?

Additional EPA-registered disinfectants may meet the criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2.

The EPA has said they will continue to update this list as needed with additional products. In the meantime, they recommend using products on this list.

Any disinfectant that does not have an EPA registration number to check against this list has not been reviewed. This means, there is no data that shows whether the product kills viruses or bacteria. Therefore, these products will also not appear on this list.

The CDC has also said that hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol can help you avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others.  

For more questions, visit the EPA Frequently Asked Questions About COVID-19.

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