EPA approves use of Lysol surface disinfectant products against COVID-19

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Monday that it has approved the first two surface disinfectant products, both made by Lysol, against the novel coronavirus.

The products – Lysol Disinfectant Spray and Lysol Disinfectant Max Cover Mist — were approved by the agency based on laboratory testing that showed they were "effective against" COVID-19, according to a statement by the EPA.

“EPA is committed to identifying new tools and providing accurate and up-to-date information to help the American public protect themselves and their families from the novel coronavirus,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “EPA's review of products tested against this virus marks an important milestone in President Trump’s all of government approach to fighting the spread of COVID-19."

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COVID-19 Coronavirus molecule, March 24, 2020
(Photo by CDC/API/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

A study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), CDC, UCLA, and Princeton University scientists back in March found the virus can remain infectious on surfaces for days. The study in the New England Journal of Medicine also suggested that people may get the virus "after touching contaminated objects."

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has gone back in forth on the exact terminology used in regards to the transmission of the coronavirus from contaminated surfaces, the agency's website now states: "It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes."

"This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, but we are still learning more about how this virus spreads," the CDC added.

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Before pesticide products can legally claim they kill a pathogen similar to SARS-CoV-2, they must be authorized by the EPA based on a review of data.

"The EPA's approval recognizes that using Lysol Disinfectant Spray can help to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on hard, non-porous surfaces," said Rahul Kadyan, EVP NA Hygiene for Reckitt Benckiser, Lysol's parent company.

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Reckitt Benckiser previously warned people against using disinfectants to treat the novel coronavirus, after President Trump's suggestion that injecting disinfectant might help people infected with the virus.

“Lysol is currently testing the efficacy of other disinfectant products in the brand portfolio,” said Ferran Rousaud, marketing director for Lysol.

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