May 6, 2021

EPA to Stop Expediting Requests for New SARS-CoV-2 Disinfectants

EPA will stop prioritizing public health emergency requests for new surface disinfectant products for use against SARS-CoV-2, the agency announced on April 28. New product registrations, SARS-CoV-2 claims, and electrostatic spraying directions for products intended to kill the virus on surfaces are among the requests that EPA will no longer expedite. The agency’s policy update is intended to align with CDC science, which states that the risk of being infected with the virus through contact with contaminated surfaces or objects is considered low. According to CDC, the main route by which SARS-CoV-2 spreads is through exposure to respiratory droplets carrying infectious virus, including larger droplets as well as small droplets and particles that can remain suspended in the air over long distances and time periods. EPA says it intends to shift its resources to the evaluation of novel products such as those that kill airborne SARS-CoV-2.

EPA’s List N already includes more than 500 disinfectants that meet the agency’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2 on surfaces. The agency will continue to update List N and will review registration requests for new surface disinfectants for SARS-CoV-2 via through its standard registrations process.

More information on EPA’s policy update is available in the agency’s press release. EPA has also published a new fact sheet that describes best practices for cleaning and disinfection during the COVID-19 pandemic. A science brief from CDC discusses SARS-CoV-2 and surface transmission for indoor community environments.