The Environmental Protection Agency has for the first time approved two surface disinfectants tested on the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
The agency said it approved Lysol Disinfectant Spray and Lysol Disinfectant Max Cover Mist based on laboratory testing that shows the products are effective against SARS-CoV-2.
“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 statement.
Before products can legally make claims they kill a pathogen, the EPA must authorize the claim based on a review of data. Since novel coronaviruses are typically not readily available for testing, the EPA established guidance for Emerging Viral Pathogens.
The guidance was activated for the first time in Jan. 2020 in response to COVID-19. Now manufacturers are able to provide the EPA with data in advance of on outbreak to prove products can fight harder to kill viruses than coronavirus.
Currently the EPA has a list of more than 420 products that are strong enough to ward off the virus, but the two Lysol products are the first to be directly tested on the virus and proven effective.
"Hygiene is both the foundation of health and essential in preventing the spread of illness causing germs," said Rahul Kadyan, executive vice president of Reckitt Benckiser in North America, Lysol's parent company. "The EPA's approval recognizes that using Lysol Disinfectant Spray can help to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on hard, non-porous surfaces."
The EPA said that it expects to approve such claims for additional products in the coming weeks.