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Coronavirus

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?

These are examples of pesticidal devices. A pesticidal device is an instrument or other machine that is used to destroy, repel, trap or mitigate any pests, including bacteria and viruses.

Unlike chemical pesticides, EPA does not routinely review the safety or efficacy of pesticidal devices, and therefore cannot confirm whether, or under what circumstances, such products might be effective against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Accordingly, List N only includes surface disinfectants registered by EPA and does not include devices.

Therefore, companies are advised to maintain records that confirm claims made on device labels/labeling are true and not misleading. Selling or distributing pesticidal devices with false or misleading claims about their safety or efficacy may subject the seller or distributor to penalties under FIFRA.

Note: The claim “Kills SARS-CoV-2” may be true and not misleading where a device has been tested against the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. “SARS-CoV-2” refers to a virus. “COVID-19” refers to a disease and diseases cannot be “killed.” Therefore, the claim “Kills COVID-19” is always considered false and misleading.

Consumers should follow the product label’s directions for use. Consumers should contact the manufacturer or seller of the pesticidal device directly if they have any questions about how to use the product, or its safety or efficacy.

See EPA's Consumer Guide for Pesticide Devices for more information about the regulation of devices.

Return to Frequent Questions about Disinfectants and Coronavirus (COVID-19).