Dispelling Myths Surrounding COVID-19
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HealthcareFebruary 23, 2021

Dispelling Myths Surrounding COVID-19

Since COVID-19 infections caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 were first reported in December of 2019, the world has learned much about this emerging pathogen. Yet, scientists are still sharing new information each day about how the infection spreads and the best ways to minimize new cases.

Complicating the process of educating the market on best practices in the fight against COVID-19 is a proliferation of false and misleading claims about coronaviruses and the products that can be used to kill them. As a result, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released an updated compliance advisory in January 2021 to replace the original advisory published shortly after the pandemic began that addresses its ongoing pursuit of companies making false and misleading claims.

In an effort to create greater transparency about efforts organizations can take to slow the spread of COVID-19, our team at Halosil has compiled a list of some of the top questions and answers we’ve heard about disinfection practices surrounding the novel coronavirus.

Can COVID-19 spread via surfaces?

According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), the primary way individuals are infected with SARS-CoV-2 is through exposure to respiratory droplets carrying the infectious virus. Respiratory viruses are transmitted in three primary ways: contact transmission, droplet transmission, and airborne transmission. The primary focus of the media has been droplet transmission, which encompasses transmission when someone is close to an infectious person (generally within about 6 feet). However, contact transmission—whereby an individual comes into contact with an infectious person or a surface that has been contaminated—is also identified as a risk.

For a respiratory infection like SARS-CoV-2, the risk is that bioaerosols will settle onto surfaces where they can then be transferred to individuals. While evidence shows that the primary mode of transmission for COVID-19 is via inhalation of infectious droplets and bioaerosols, it is important to be aware that there is the potential for spread via surfaces.

Are there any products that kill SARS-CoV-2 instantly?

No. All disinfectants require a set amount of contact time on a surface to kill pathogens. For liquid or wipe based solutions, this means that a surface must remain wet for the full duration of time. For surfaces that would be damaged by being wet, dry fog is an alternate that does not require surfaces to become wet.

Most liquid disinfectants require a 3-10 minute contact time. Wipes generally have a shorter contact time of 2-3 minutes; however, it is again critical that surfaces remain wet for the entirety of this duration or else pathogens may remain. To determine the required contact time to kill viruses, bacteria, and fungi, check the product’s label.

How can I ensure I’m not being fooled by false or misleading claims?

To help individuals and organizations select only approved products to kill the novel coronavirus, the EPA has released List N—a list of products the EPA expects will kill SARS-CoV-2 when used according to the label directions. These products are for use on surfaces only, and not on humans.

The EPA has set up an easy to navigate database of all products included on List N. If you are considering buying a solution or already have purchased a disinfectant, make certain to check List N to confirm it meets the EPA’s criteria for eliminating emerging pathogen types. If you do not yet have a disinfectant, List N provides convenient filters for active ingredient, use sites, surface types, and contact time to help you narrow down the list. If looking for our disinfectant, HaloMist™, you can search the database by our EPA Registration number #84526-6 to find our listing.

If you have any uncertainty surrounding a product or its kill claims, refer to the EPA website and the product’s EPA label for additional information. If you have any questions, the Halosil team is happy to discuss further with you. You can reach out to a member of our team here.