EPA Approves Emergency Exemption Requests for Surface Coating That Kills COVID-19
On April 21, EPA approved emergency exemption requests from three U.S. states—Georgia, Utah, and Minnesota—to allow the supplemental residual surface coating BIAXAM to be used in Delta Air Lines planes and facilities in those states. BIAXAM is an adhesive film that can be applied to hard, non-porous surfaces such as counters, seat backs, and touch screens. Laboratory testing data submitted with the emergency exemption request indicates that BIAXAM kills more than 99 percent of SARS-CoV-2 particles that land on the coating within two hours. EPA’s press release explains that BIAXAM can remain effective for up to 100 days on airport surfaces and up to 200 days on airplane surfaces, but notes that use of this product does not replace routine cleaning and disinfection. EPA has only approved BIAXAM for use in Delta Air Lines aircraft and airline facilities in three states on hard surfaces that do not make contact with food. According to EPA, BIAXAM does not easily transfer from surfaces to skin and the agency does not expect it to pose any health risks.
In January, EPA approved emergency exemption requests for use of two other products against SARS-CoV-2 within defined geographic areas: the air treatment product Grignard Pure and another surface coating, SurfaceWise2. Both are only permitted for limited use in a handful of states. For more information on BIAXAM, its approved uses, and EPA’s other exemptions related to COVID-19, refer to the agency’s website.