Reducing the risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 relies on effective cleaning and disinfection, along with continued social distancing practices. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) researchers are evaluating microbial disinfectants and application methods for surfaces and objects that are frequently touched by multiple people.
Areas with surfaces that are frequently touched by many different people can pose a risk to public health because of the significant challenge of continuous cleaning and disinfection.
Recognizing a real need for more information to reduce potential exposure to SARS-CoV-2 on these kinds of surfaces, researchers are evaluating a number of commercially available products for potential long-lasting effectiveness against the virus. Currently, EPA-registered products with long-lasting effectiveness claims are mostly limited to those that control odor-causing bacteria on hard, non-porous surfaces; there are no EPA registered products with public health claims that provide long-lasting (e.g., weeks to months) disinfection against a virus. The benefits of having a longer-lasting antimicrobial product are important, especially when cleaning and disinfecting a surface or object cannot be accomplished every time someone new touches it.
The assessment process used by EPA researchers will help determine whether these products can continue to effectively kill viruses on surfaces over time and how durable the product is with normal use, including routine cleaning, and natural weathering.