Welcome to Professional and Technical Services (PTS) – experts in chemical disinfection for infection prevention. Our goal is to educate and provide you the latest resources related to cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces, medical devices and hands. As specialists in disinfectant chemistries, microbiology, environmental cleaning and disinfection, facility assessments and policy and procedure creation we are dedicated to helping any person or facility who uses chemical disinfectants.

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Friday, April 3, 2020

How to Tell if your Disinfectant Kills COVID-19

One of the questions on people’s minds is how to know if the disinfectant they are using is effective against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.  The good news it that coronaviruses like SARS-CoV-2 are enveloped viruses, therefore are generally quite susceptible to disinfectants.  The downside is that confirming that the product has been approved can be a bit of a challenge.
In the US, when emerging viruses show up and are deemed a threat to public health, the Emerging Pathogen Rule is enacted.  Depending on the type virus that has emerged, there are different requirements a disinfectant must meet in order to be considered effective.  For SARS-CoV-2, the Emerging Pathogen Guidance went into effect as of January 29, 2020.  The following conditions were required:
  • The product must be a hospital or broad-spectrum disinfectant product registered with EPA.
  • For an emerging enveloped virus, the product must have acceptable efficacy data previously submitted to and reviewed by the Agency against one non-enveloped virus (e.g. Poliovirus).

Due to the severity and spread of the virus, at the beginning of March, the EPA indicated that EPA-registered hospital or broad-spectrum disinfectants that carry a claim against Human Coronavirus would also be effective, allowing additional products to be included on EPA List N – products expected to be effective against SARS-CoV-2.

One would think finding the product you use would then be relatively easy.  Unfortunately, that is not necessarily the case.  Many disinfectant manufacturers register products using a Project Name, meaning that the name of the product you are using is likely different from that on List N so when you search you will not find the product name.  Instead, search by the EPA number listed on your product – that should work at least 50-60% of the time.  If your product has 3 sets of numbers, then the product is a sub-registration.  This means, a company has been given access to sell a product under a different name.  In this case, you again only search for the first 2 set of numbers.  The following is an example of what EPA List N looks like:

And that, folks, is how you find out if your disinfectant is registered and approved for use in the US against COVID-19.

Bugging Off!


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