Understanding Disinfectants for Emerging Pathogens

Government agencies, medical facilities, educational institutions and other private sector companies, both large and small, are dealing with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.  Education on how to prevent the spread of viruses in their buildings by understanding disinfectants for emerging pathogens (DEP) is vitally important.

As cases spike and mortality rate rises in the U.S., there is encouraging news. The Environmental Protection Agency has released a list of registered disinfectants for use against emerging pathogens that show similar or efficacy higher than needed to eradicate SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

EPA-Registered Disinfectants

The EPA has released a list of disinfectants made by companies that received pre-approval through the agency’s Emerging Viral Pathogen program. The EPA’s guidance for this voluntary program was finalized in 2016. In January of this year, it was triggered in response to the spread of SARS-CoV-2. The program requires manufacturers to submit data to the EPA proving their product’s effectiveness in killing viruses. Once an outbreak occurs, these manufacturers can let the public know about their product’s effectiveness as a disinfectant.

The program allows manufacturers with EPA-registered disinfectant products to promote these virus-killing attributes in off-label communications. This includes messaging on websites and through social media. Under normal circumstances, such products would provide the EPA with data proving the product’s effectiveness against a particular virus. However, in the case of unpredictable emerging pathogens companies can promote their products as a disinfectant when there has been no time to collect data, develop testing standards, or get labeling approval for use against a particular virus. The program allows for a quick response to combat emerging pathogens and helps the public in their understanding of disinfectants.

Disinfecting and Deactivating Enveloped Viruses

The coronavirus is an enveloped virus, which means it is contained within a lipid covering. Therefore, this envelope is easily penetrated by most disinfectants to inactivate the virus. The disinfectants included on the EPA’s list should be used as directed by the label.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also offers suggestions to help stop the spread of viruses both at home and in the workplace. This includes cleaning and disinfecting all high-touch surfaces throughout the building with EPA-registered disinfectants. High-touch surfaces are doorknobs, handrails, countertops, and workstations. Disposable gloves should be worn during the disinfection process and discarded immediately after. Stressing the need for frequent hand washing by all building occupants is critical. Understanding disinfectants and how they are used is important in stopping the spread of pathogens and for protecting workers.

The PURE-Decon Solution

Buildings, campuses, and other large facilities need to prepare their emergency response to viruses like SARS-CoV-2. At PureAir, our PURE-Decon process uses various EPA-registered Disinfectants for Emerging Pathogens (DEPs). This process disinfects interior spaces as well as inside HVAC ductwork. Electrostatic DEP sprayers and misters allow PURE-Decon services to disinfect areas not reached by topical cleaning. The PURE-Decon process is highly effective and leaves no harmful residues behind.

EPA-Registered Disinfectants for Emerging Pathogens kill 99.9% of bacteria, mold, viruses, and other microbes. It is effective anywhere the mist permeates. Contact us to find out more about PURE-Decon and how our building health check evaluates all indoor environmental conditions including the presence of mold, moisture, allergens, and other containment sources. Call or contact us to schedule get started today!