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How to kill coronavirus, according to the EPA

Published Mar 6th, 2020 5:24PM EST
how to kill coronavirus

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  • The EPA just released an approved list of products that kill coronavirus.
  • Clorox, Purell, and Lysol products all make the cut.
  • These products are great for sanitizing surfaces, but can’t protect you from person-to-person transmission of the coronavirus.
  • Visit BGR’s homepage for more stories.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency just released a new list of products that it says are approved for killing coronavirus. The list is packed with products you’ll quickly recognize, from Clorox bleach to Purell hand sanitizer, but there’s also plenty of products that may not already be on your virus-killing radar.

The products on the list are labeled as either wipes, dilutable chemicals that can be mixed with water at home, or “RTU” for “ready to use,” which includes spray bottles and other consumer-level sanitizing agents. The EPA’s list is similar to other lists from groups like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but it’s not a perfect overlap. USA Today put together a brief summary of the more popular products on the list:

  • Clorox Disinfecting Wipes
  • Clorox Commercial Solutions
  • Clorox Disinfecting Spray
  • Clorox Multi-Surface Cleaner + Bleach
  • Klercide 70/30
  • Lonza Formulation
  • Lysol Clean & Fresh Multi-Surface Cleaner
  • Lysol Disinfectant Max Cover Mist
  • Lysol Heavy-Duty Cleaner Disinfectant Concentrate
  • Oxycide Daily Disinfectant Cleaner
  • Peak Disinfectant Wipes
  • Peroxide Multi Surface Cleaner and Disinfectant
  • Peroxide Disinfectant and Glass Cleaner
  • Purell Professional Surface Disinfectant Wipes
  • Sani-Prime Germicidal Disposable Wipe
  • Sani-Prime Germicidal Spray

Killing a virus when it’s on a surface isn’t difficult if you have the right tools. Sanitizing chemicals like the ones on this list have been around for a long time, and they work great. Still, it’s important to manage your expectations here and not turn into a Clorox hoarder. Keeping your home clean is a great step for your overall health, but spraying your countertop with a virus-killing chemical isn’t going to prevent you from getting sick if you come into contact with someone who actually has the coronavirus (or any contagious illness, for that matter).

Thus far, health officials believe that the virus is spread mostly via droplets expelled by infected individuals. If someone with the virus sneezes or coughs, droplets may be produced, and those droplets can make you sick if they enter your nose, mouth, or eyes. Because of this, keeping your hands clean is hugely important (this is where the Purell and other sanitizing wipes come in handy), since transmission via hand contact is a common avenue by which viruses spread.

Having one or more of these products on hand is probably wise, especially as the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread in many areas. The United States has gotten pretty lucky so far, with relatively few confirmed infections and very few deaths. However, that doesn’t mean that things can’t take a turn for the worse. Again, hoarding these products won’t do you any good, but if you want to be on top of your virus-fighting game, grabbing a bottle of Purell and using it liberally isn’t a terrible idea.