Frequent Questions about Disinfectants and Coronavirus (COVID-19)
View all frequent questions about disinfectants, List N, and Coronavirus (COVID-19) below.
NOTE: The disinfectant questions below refer to EPA’s List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2. SARS-CoV-2 is the novel coronavirus that causes the disease COVID-19.
- I have a question about a word or phrase on the List N website. I’m not sure how something on List N helps me fight COVID-19.
- I want to use a product to kill SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) but it isn’t on List N. Is it effective against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19)?
- Some of the products on List N say “Food Contact.” What does that mean?
- What does the column “emerging viral pathogen claim” indicate in List N?
What does the column “Follow the disinfection directions and preparation for the following virus” mean? Why are viruses other than the human coronavirus listed in that column?
- How does EPA know that the products on List N work on SARS-CoV-2?
- I can’t tell if the product I’m interested in is on the list or not. Can you help me?
- Why are some products listed here but not on other disinfectants lists compiled by other organizations?
- Do disinfectants kill newer variants of coronavirus?
- Can I use common household substances to kill the novel coronavirus?
- Can I use fogging, fumigation, or electrostatic spraying or drones to help control COVID-19?
- 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?
- Are disinfectants harmful to children? Can children apply disinfectants?
- Why are disinfectants marketed and sold under different brand and product names?
- 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 apply a product using a method that is not specified in the directions for use?
- Can disinfectant products be used on people?
- 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?
Registration and Enforcement
- What’s the difference between products that disinfect, sanitize, and clean surfaces?
- What is the process for EPA approval of disinfectant products related to COVID-19?
- Are there any changes to the registration of disinfectants due to COVID-19?
- Will EPA take enforcement action against companies making false claims that their disinfectants work against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19)?
- Why aren’t hand sanitizers listed on List N?
- What is an emerging viral pathogen claim?
- Does EPA regulate companies that require cleaning services claiming to disinfect for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19)?
- Do I need to register disinfectant products with EPA in order to import them?