Beware of Unsafe or Ineffective Antimicrobial Products

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced violations by a Southern California company that was selling unregistered antimicrobial products that resulted in a $150,000 fine for the company. The company claimed their product could kill or repel microbes through a water filtration system that had not been tested or approved by the EPA. The danger to purchasers lies in the potential ineffectiveness of the product and/or harm to the user.

Antimicrobial products that claim to kill or repel bacteria or germs are considered pesticides so manufacturers must comply with the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) which includes registering the products with EPA. Any product that is registered with EPA as an antimicrobial undergoes thorough testing to ensure the product is effective in its stated purpose and will not pose an unreasonable risk to human health.

There has been a significant rise in products claiming to be effective in the fight against COVID-19. To make sure the products you use are safe and effective, check the EPA List N. Type the EPA registration number, found on the product label, into the search function to find your product. You can then verify if the product you are using is legitimately registered and serves the purpose of an antimicrobial.

When you are evaluating new disinfectant product purchases, the EPA List N is a great place to start. You can search by various parameters such as active ingredient, formulation type, and if there is an emerging pathogen claim. The List N Tool allows users to cross reference the environmentally friendly cleaners they are using against the list to ensure the products are effective against viruses such as SARS-CoV-2.

If you have questions on how to use the EPA List N Tool to choose effective products which are best for the health of your staff and the environment, contact BEP. For more information on cleaning and disinfection, visit our website.