While it’s mainly transmitted person-to-person, disinfecting your house or your car can be important to avoid exposure to coronavirus. But not necessarily all products at the supermarket will work, so it’s important to choose the most suitable ones.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) put together a list of disinfectants that people can use to protect themselves from the coronavirus. The virus has already affected more than 100,000 people and caused more than 3,300 deaths.
“Using the correct disinfectant is an important part of preventing and reducing the spread of illnesses along with other critical aspects such as hand washing,” EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a statement. “EPA is providing this important information in a public and transparent manner on disinfectant products to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.”
The products listed on EPA’s list were as eligible for use against coronavirus through the agency’s emerging viral pathogen program. This allows product manufacturers to provide EPA with data, even before an outbreak, to show that their products are effective against viruses
The list was compiled by the American Chemistry Council’s Center for Biocide Chemistries and is frequently updated as manufacturers provide new data. The products are divided into three main categories: ready to use, dilutable and wipes.
The ready-to-use has products from Purell, Lysol and Procter & Gamble distributed in two and a half pages. Meanwhile, the dilutable category has over 100 products, mainly made using bleach. Finally, the wipes category has the fewest approved products, with only 37 listed so far.
Some of the registered disinfectants on the EPA’s list are Clorox Multi Surface Cleaner + Bleach, Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, Clorox Commercial Solutions Clorox Disinfecting Spray, Lysol brand Heavy-Duty Cleaner Disinfectant Concentrate, Lysol Disinfectant Max Cover Mist and Sani-Prime Germicidal Spray. The full list of approved products can be found in the embedded document below.
While using the correct product is important, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highlighted that the best way to prevent the virus is to avoid being exposed to it. Everyday actions that can help are washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
This is because the virus is thought to spread mainly by people and their coughs, sneezes, and saliva. It is possible to get infected by touching surfaces or objects contaminated with the virus and then coming into contact with your mouth or eyes, but it’s not the main way for the virus to spread.