Essential thinking

Is EPA registration of a disinfectant required?

18 Nov 2015

Posted by John Corley

A range of disinfectants

If you need a specific type of disinfectant and a wiper product for your application, it's important to be confident that you've chosen the right product for your needs. Wet or dry wiping, chemical residue requirements, and requirements for absorbent capacity can all dictate the product you need, and ultimately purchase. EPA registration is another aspect which can add confidence to a consumer's choice that a disinfectant is both effective at killing a given microorganism and safe.

EPA Registration Process
Any disinfectant which claims to kill a specific microorganism must be registered with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ensure there are "no adverse effects" and that the product is effective at what it claims. Putting together an effective disinfectant requires sufficient proof of efficacy.Obtaining EPA registration is a costly and time-consuming process (3-12 months) but it’s necessary to protect your employees and the general public, especially in hospital settings where disinfectants are prevalent. For decisionmakers to verify registration information, simply check a product's label or the periodically updated lists on the EPA's website.

The Importance of EPA Registration
If you are looking to control and kill a specific microorganism in your sterile environment, ensuring that a product is EPA registered will provide proof of effectiveness. Most situations in healthcare, life sciences, and related fields require a specific disinfectant to control a given risk of contamination, such as MRSA. It's important to verify the intended use of a disinfectant beforehand. Some disinfectants require that a surface is cleaned with detergent and water before the disinfectant is applied in order for the agent to properly kill any microorganisms that remain after the cleaning process. In other cases, disinfectants must sit on a surface for a certain period of time, known as "kill time" to work as intended.

Next Steps
Safety and efficacy are two critical considerations if you're in the process of purchasing a disinfectant to maintain a sterile, safe work environment. EPA registration is among the most common ways for prospective customers to ensure that a product is qualified. Purchasing a registered disinfectant, the right wipers, and following intended use guidelines can protect the health and safety of health care, laboratory, and other life sciences employees