Do disinfectants kill newer variants of coronavirus?
Yes, EPA expects all products on List N to kill all variants of SARS-CoV-2.
Genetic changes to the virus do not impact the efficacy of disinfectants. Viruses can be killed by disinfectants because of their basic physical properties, and the recent mutations to SARS-CoV-2 have not changed these physical features.
EPA regulates the claims on disinfectant product labels. Before a company can sell or market a disinfectant whose label claims to kill a certain pathogen, EPA must authorize that claim during the registration process. In some limited cases, companies can make efficacy claims that aren’t on the product label as specified in EPA’s Emerging Viral Pathogens policy. See: What is an emerging viral pathogen claim?
If companies choose to test disinfectant products against multiple variants of viruses or bacteria, EPA allows companies to state that their product kills those variants on the product label as long as those claims are supported by sound science and testing data.
Some disinfectant products have been tested against different coronavirus variants. You can find out which variants a product has been tested against on the product’s label.
Return to Frequent Questions about Disinfectants and Coronavirus (COVID-19).
- Can I use common household substances to kill the novel coronavirus?
- How can members of my household use disinfectants properly to control COVID-19 if a family member is asthmatic or has other chronic respiratory disease?
- Is there anything I can do to make surfaces resistant to SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19)?
- I need to disinfect a public space like a store or school. What do I need to know?
- Why aren’t ozone generators, UV lights, or air purifiers on List N? Can I use these or other pesticidal devices to kill the virus that causes COVID-19?
- Can I use fogging, fumigation, or electrostatic spraying, or drones to help control COVID-19?
- Can I apply a product using a method that is not specified in the directions for use?
- Can disinfectant products be used on people?
- What is an emerging viral pathogen claim?