EPA Updates Disinfectant Policy to Align with CDC Science

This original announcement was published by the EPA on April 29, 2021. Click here for more information.


In order to respond to the public’s needs over this past year of the pandemic, the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has allowed for expedited review and approval of surface disinfectant products for use against SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, adding over 500 products to EPA’s list of disinfectants entitled List N. Over the course of the last year, EPA reacted to unprecedented circumstances by activating its Emerging Viral Pathogens guidance, minimizing disinfectants supply chain disruptions through regulatory flexibilities, releasing new and updated scientific protocols, and providing several pathways for expedited review.

Recent information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that the risk of being infected with COVID-19 by touching contaminated surfaces is considered low. Given this new information, EPA is no longer prioritizing Public Health Emergency requests for new products that address surface transmission of SARS-CoV-2. EPA will continue to follow the evolving science of the pandemic by shifting resources to the evaluation of novel products, such as those that kill airborne SARS-CoV-2, and to meeting critical deadlines in the registration and review of all pesticide products within its purview.  In addition, in light of the hundreds of EPA-registered products that are already available, EPA will no longer expedite new product registrations, emerging viral pathogen claims, SARS-CoV-2 claims, and electrostatic spraying directions for products intended to kill SARS-CoV-2 on surfaces.

Disinfectants continue to serve as one of many important tools in the fight against COVID-19 where needed. The agency will continue to review registration requests for new surface disinfectants for SARS-CoV-2 via the standard registrations process and associated deadlines required by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and will continue to update List N.

Learn more about the risk of surface transmission of SARS-CoV-2.

Learn about best practices for cleaning and disinfection.

Learn more about EPA’s Covid-19 response.