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EPA publishes list of disinfectants that can help stop spread of coronavirus

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Washington — Are your cleaning products strong enough to protect against COVID-19? The Environmental Protection Agency has published a list of 83 registered disinfectants authorized to help prevent and reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

Products included on the list have advanced through EPA’s Emerging Viral Pathogen program because of their effectiveness against “harder-to-kill viruses,” the agency states in a March 5 press release.

According to EPA, coronaviruses – named for the crownlike spikes on their surfaces – are enveloped viruses, and therefore “one of the easiest types” of viruses to eliminate with proper disinfectant use.

“Using the correct disinfectant is an important part of preventing and reducing the spread of illnesses, along with other critical aspects such as handwashing,” EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in the release. “EPA is providing this important information in a public and transparent manner on disinfectant products to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.”

The agency advises consumers to follow directions for use on product labels and pay “close attention to the contact time for the product on the treated surface.” It added it will update the list as needed.

COVID-19 reportedly is linked to a large seafood and animal market in Wuhan, China, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. As of March 10, 938 people in 38 states and the District of Columbia had been diagnosed with the illness and 29 had died, the agency states.

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