EPA Making Disinfectant Production Easier
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking further action to help ease the production and availability of EPA-registered disinfectants, according to a press release from the agency.
EPA will temporarily allow manufacturers of certain already-registered EPA disinfectants to obtain certain active ingredients from any source of suppliers without checking with the agency first. This only applies to products on EPA’s List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2. This action comes after last week’s announcement of EPA’s similar action on certain inert ingredients.
“It is critical that the supply of EPA-registered disinfectants keep up with the demand for these products,” says Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, assistant administrator of EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “By taking this action, EPA is better protecting public health by assuring the availability of surface disinfectants to use against the novel coronavirus.”
EPA usually requires disinfectant manufacturers to first apply for and receive EPA approval prior to making a change in the source of the active ingredient. Under this amendment, manufacturers can source certain active ingredients from alternative suppliers, inform EPA and immediately start production, provided that the resulting formulation is chemically similar to the current formulation. This will help alleviate reports of supply chain disruptions by pesticide registrants who manufacture disinfectant products on EPA’s List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2.
EPA will assess the continued need for and scope of this temporary amendment on a regular basis and will update it if EPA determines modifications are necessary.
The eligible active ingredients are:
- Citric acid
- Glycolic acid
- Hydrochloric acid
- Hypochlorous acid
- Hydrogen peroxide
- L-lactic acid
- Sodium hypochlorite
Pesticides, including disinfectants, contain both active and inactive (or inert) ingredients. Active ingredients prevent, destroy, repel or mitigate a pest, in this case SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. All other ingredients are called inert ingredients by federal law. They are important for product performance and usability.