An EPA advisory warns some disinfectant products on the market claiming to combat coronavirus have not been reviewed or approved by the agency.
In a May 2020 compliance advisory, the EPA notes that some products being used to disinfect surfaces include unapproved claims of effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2, the strain of coronavirus that causes COVID-19. As the claims have not been reviewed by the EPA, these products may present a risk, especially to healthcare providers.
The agency notes that cleaning products claiming to kill and/or be effective against viruses are pesticides and must be accepted and registered with the EPA prior to distribution or sale.
The EPA’s “List N” includes the names of disinfectants that meet its criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2. Surface disinfectant products on this list have not been tested specifically against coronavirus; however, the EPA notes that it “expects them to kill the virus because they demonstrate efficacy against a harder-to-kill virus or another human coronavirus similar to the one causing COVID-19.”
The advisory also addresses pesticidal devices, which are instruments used to destroy, repel, trap, or mitigate any pests, including viruses (i.e. ozone generators, UV lights, etc). The EPA does not routinely review their safety or efficacy.
For more information on EPA’s enforcement actions, refer to the agency’s COVID-19 enforcement and compliance resources.