I need to disinfect a public space like a store or school. What do I need to know?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have guiding principles available for workplaces, businesses, administrators and teachers. View the CDC's Community, Work and School COVID-19 webpage for information and guidance.
According to a CDC science brief, the risk of catching COVID-19 by touching a contaminated surface is considered to be low.
Commercial applicators, like individuals, should view EPA’s List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) and follow directions for use. When disinfecting public spaces, choose a product for use in institutional settings. Only products on EPA’s List N meet our criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
None of the products on EPA’s List N are restricted use pesticides (RUPs), so there are no federal requirements for users to be trained or certified, nor does EPA license companies that provide cleaning services. However, state requirements for training, certification and licenses vary widely, so check with your state on any local requirements.
Unless the pesticide product label specifically includes disinfection directions for fogging, fumigation, or wide-area or electrostatic spraying, EPA does not recommend using these methods to apply disinfectants. EPA has not evaluated the product’s safety and efficacy for methods not addressed on the label. Read EPA's guidance on adding directions for use with electrostatic sprayers to products intended to kill SARS-CoV-2.
- 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?
- Can disinfectant products be used on people?
- Is there anything I can do to make surfaces resistant to SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19)?
- 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?
- Do disinfectants kill newer variants of coronavirus?