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EPA adds more products to list of disinfectants than can help curb spread of coronavirus

Photo: SIAATH/iStockphoto

Washington — The Environmental Protection Agency has added nearly 200 registered disinfectants to an online list of cleaning products that can help prevent and reduce the spread of the coronavirus, and has made the list sortable, searchable and printable.

Although the newly added disinfectants have not been tested specifically against COVID-19, which is caused by the coronavirus, the agency anticipates their effectiveness based on a “demonstrated efficacy” against harder-to-kill viruses and another similar human coronavirus, or advancement through the agency’s Emerging Viral Pathogens program.

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. The agency notes that the updated list is easily accessible on mobile devices.

“During this pandemic, it’s important that people can easily find the information they’re looking for when choosing and using a surface disinfectant,” EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a March 13 press release. “With this expanded list, EPA is making sure Americans have greater access to as many effective and approved surface disinfectant products as possible and that they have the information at their fingertips to use them effectively.”


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.”

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. In the United States and its territories, as of March 18, 7,038 people in 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands had been diagnosed with the illness and 97 had died, the agency states.

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