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EPA approves first disinfectant effective against COVID-19

FILE Photo by: John Nacion/STAR MAX/IPx 2020 3/4/20 People wear protective masks to fend off the Coronavirus, while street vendors pedal masks, hand sanitizer and other disinfecting products in Queens, New York.

WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has officially approved two surface disinfectants they say will effectively kill the COVID-19 novel coronavirus.

The approval has come from the agency to two products,  Lysol Disinfectant Spray and Lysol Disinfectant Max Cover Mist. Both of which the EPA has been able to test in its lab.

Before any product can legally make the claim that it is effective against a pathogen the EPA needs to confirm it.

“EPA is committed to identifying new tools and providing accurate and up-to-date information to help the American public protect themselves and their families from the novel coronavirus,” EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a press release. 

“EPA’s review of products tested against this virus marks an important milestone in President Trump’s all of government approach to fighting the spread of COVID-19.”

The EPA said these two products aren’t the only two known to be effective against the coronavirus. In January the agency asked manufacturers of cleaning products to send them the data that showed their products are effective at killing pathogens which are more difficult to kill than COVID-19. They then compiled more than 420 products into a list that meet the EPA’s standards for use against COVID-19. You can see that list, known as List N here.

Why does regular soap work so well against the coronavirus?

They say that every product on that list meets their criteria for effectively killing the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The difference in the two Lysol products the agency has approved this week and the rest of List N is the laboratory results showing its effectiveness in kill COVID-19.

“This week, EPA updated the entries for two products on List N to show they have now been tested directly against SARS-CoV-2. These are the first List N products for which the agency has reviewed laboratory testing data and approved label claims against SARS-CoV-2.

“EPA expects to approve such claims for additional List N products in the coming weeks,” they wrote.

They also stress the importance of following the directions of all the cleaning products on their list especially ensuring proper contact time and that the surfaces you’re cleaning should be visibly wet.


EPA releases list of disinfectants that can kill COVID-19


How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronaviruses transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A

Utah’s Coronavirus Information

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States