The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took steps to provide additional flexibilities to manufacturers of disinfectants and other pesticides. EPA intends for these flexibilities to increase the availability of products for Americans to use against the novel coronavirus. After meeting with stakeholders last week and discussing supply chain challenges posed by the pandemic, EPA is allowing manufacturers to obtain certain inert ingredients—or inactive ingredients like sodium chloride or glucose—from different suppliers without checking with the agency for approval.
“EPA is committed to doing our part to help ensure American families, communities, business and hospitals have access to as many effective surface disinfectant products as possible,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “There is no higher priority for the Trump Administration than protecting the health and safety of Americans, and the steps we are taking today are helping put more products on the shelves without sacrificing important public health and environmental protections.”
Commodity inert ingredients are individual inert ingredients—there are approximately 280 total—that can be obtained from different producers with no significant differences in the ingredient. Applicants for pesticide registration or registration amendments can obtain commodity inert ingredients from various commercial sources without having to provide EPA with the supplier name and address. Only those inert ingredients designated as commodity inert ingredients would be eligible for this reduced Confidential Statement of Formula (CSF) reporting.
The agency is also continuing to expedite the review of submissions from companies requesting to add emerging viral pathogen claims to their already registered surface disinfectant labels. In many cases, the agency continues to be able to approve claims within 14 days, as resources allow, compared to the 90-day window these claims typically take. Today, EPA added 70 new surface disinfectants to EPA’s List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 (List N), bringing the total number of products on the list to more than 350.
It is important to note that List N only includes surface disinfectants registered by EPA. Other disinfection products like hand sanitizers and body wipes are regulated the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Using an EPA-registered product in ways other than what is specified in the label is against the law and unsafe.