Two specific Lysol disinfectant spray products have now been approved by the U.S. government as effective measures to kill COVID-19 (coronavirus). The United States Environmental Protection Agency has now approved these two products for use against COVID-19: Lysol Disinfectant Spray and Lysol Disinfectant Max Cover Mist.
“Throughout the COVID-19 public health emergency, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has worked to provide the American public with information about how to safely and effectively kill the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, on surfaces. Last week, EPA approved two products, Lysol Disinfectant Spray (EPA Reg No. 777-99) and Lysol Disinfectant Max Cover Mist (EPA Reg No. 777-127), based on laboratory testing that shows the products are effective against SARS-CoV-2,” the EPA wrote in a July 6, 2020 press release.
“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,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “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 agency has also published six steps for effective disinfecting of COVID-19. Those steps are: Check that the product is EPA-approved; read the directions; pre-clean the surface; follow the contact time; wear gloves and wash your hands; and lock it up.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency previously released a longer list of disinfectants and cleaners that can work against COVID-19. Multiple Lysol products, including Lysol disinfectant spray, are on that list, which you can find here. Many products are on that list, not just Lysol.
However, the two Lysol products singled out by EPA on July 6 have been proven effective in tests against COVID-19, the EPA says. The other products on the previous list were tested previously on viruses considered tougher to kill than COVID-19 so they are presumed to be effective against them, but there wasn’t direct testing.
“In the face of the pandemic, Lysol continues to work with a wide range of scientific and health experts to educate the public on the importance of hygiene,” said Rahul Kadyan, executive vice president of Lysol’s parent company, to CNN.
In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a simple recipe for a bleach-and-water mixture that also kills the virus, which you can also see later in this article. The virus spreads through respiratory drops and can live on surfaces, so it’s important to disinfect, the CDC advises. The EPA list is known as “List N.”
“When purchasing a product, check if its EPA registration number is included on this list. If it is, you have a match and the product can be used against SARS-CoV-2. You can find this number on the product label – just look for the EPA Reg. No. These products may be marketed and sold under different brand names, but if they have the same EPA registration number, they are the same product,” the EPA states.
Here’s what you need to know:
The EPA Advises That Cleaning & Disinfecting Surfaces Can Be an Effective Way to Reduce the Spread of COVID-19
“Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces continues to be an effective way to reduce the spread of the virus,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler in a news release on July 7.
The EPA also released new guidance for “electrostatic spraying,” which has drawn interest because of “the need to disinfect large indoor spaces (e.g., schools, offices, businesses) or areas with many surfaces. Unlike conventional spraying methods, electrostatic sprayers apply a positive charge to liquid disinfectants as they pass through the nozzle. The positively charged disinfectant is attracted to negatively charged surfaces, which allows for efficient coating of hard nonporous surfaces.” You can see that guidance here.
According to the EPA, “before pesticide products can legally make claims that they can kill a particular pathogen such as SARS-CoV-2, the claim must be authorized by EPA based on a review of data. Because novel viruses are typically not immediately available for laboratory testing, EPA established guidance for Emerging Viral Pathogens.”
In January 2020, the agency “activated the guidance for the first time in response to the SARS-CoV-2 public health emergency. The guidance allows product manufacturers to provide EPA with data, even in advance of an outbreak, that shows their products are effective against harder-to-kill viruses than SARS-CoV-2,” EPA wrote. “Through this guidance and the agency’s review of newly registered products, EPA’s list of products that meet the agency’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2 (known as List N) includes more than 420 products. In many cases, the agency was able to approve claims in as little as 14 days.”
EPA Says the Two Lysol Disinfectants Have Been ‘Tested Directly’ Against COVID-19
The two products are difference because, as the EPA noted, “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.”
What of the others on the EPA’s lengthier list? “All products on EPA’s List N meet the agency’s criteria for effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2. When using an EPA-registered disinfectant, follow the label directions for safe, effective use. Make sure to follow the contact time, which is the amount of time the surface should be visibly wet. Read the agency’s infographic on how to use these products,” the agency says.
“Based on what is currently known about the novel coronavirus and similar coronaviruses that cause SARS and MERS, spread from person-to-person with these viruses happens most frequently among close contacts (within about 6 feet). This type of transmission occurs via respiratory droplets,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.
“On the other hand, transmission of novel coronavirus to persons from surfaces contaminated with the virus has not been documented. Transmission of coronavirus occurs much more commonly through respiratory droplets than through fomites. Current evidence suggests that novel coronavirus may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials. Cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection is a best practice measure for prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses in households and community settings.”
The CDC adds: “Community members can practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces (for example: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks) with household cleaners and EPA-registered disinfectants that are appropriate for the surface, following label instructions. Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.”
The CDC Also Says a Bleach & Water Mixture to Kill Coronavirus
If you can’t find Lysol products anymore, bleach can also work. According to CDC:
“Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work. Use disinfectants appropriate for the surface.
Diluting your household bleach.
To make a bleach solution, mix:
5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water
4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water
Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.
Ensure solution has at least 70% alcohol.”
How can you clean surfaces?
“Wear disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. Gloves should be discarded after each cleaning. If reusable gloves are used, those gloves should be dedicated for cleaning and disinfection of surfaces for COVID-19 and should not be used for other purposes. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and disinfection products used. Clean hands immediately after gloves are removed,” the CDC advises.
“If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection. For disinfection, diluted household bleach solutions, alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol, and most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective.”
The CDC continues, “Diluted household bleach solutions can be used if appropriate for the surface. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.”
According to CDC, you should prepare a bleach solution by mixing:
5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water or
4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water
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