A person uses a hand held pump sprayer and protective glove to spray cleaning chemicals

Some Canadian facility managers and cleaning contractors report there is often confusion as to what is recognized as an independently verified disinfectant in Canada. This confusion extends to U.S. and other manufacturers exporting disinfectants to Canada.

However, according to a white paper prepared by Avmor, a Canadian manufacturer of professional cleaning solutions, this should not be an issue and can be very easily addressed.

“It’s easy to determine if a disinfectant has been independently evaluated and determined to be an effective disinfectant,” says Mike Watt, head of training and new product development at Avmor “It will have a ‘DIN’ number on the label.”

However, because of the confusion, including the fact that many manufacturers in Canada as well as in the U.S. believe DIN numbers are only placed on pharmaceuticals, Watt addresses the following questions about DINs.

What is a DIN?
A Drug Identification Number (DIN) is a computer-generated, eight-digit number assigned by Health Canada to a drug product before being marketed in Canada.

So, it is just for drugs?
No. Most chemicals used in Canada as disinfectants or antimicrobials are regulated as drugs. So, that is the connection.

What does the DIN mean?
DINs are similar to an EPA registration. When the Environmental Protection Agency tests and verifies that a disinfectant is safe and effective, it is given an EPA registration number, noted on the product’s label. Health Canada functions in the same way. A DIN placed on a disinfectant means the product has also been proven safe and effective.

Does Health Canada do the actual testing?
No. In most cases, products are tested by independent laboratories. If it passes specific standards and criteria, a DIN is generated.

Do US and European manufacturers selling disinfectants in Canada need a DIN?
Yes. If they are calling their product a disinfectant, to comply in Canada, it must have a DIN.

“Disinfectants used in Canada and around the world play a vital role in helping to keep people healthy,” adds Watt. “Hopefully, this Q&A answers the key questions Canadians and U.S. chemical manufacturers have about DINs so we can make sure this continues to happen.”