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Legal Insights and Perspectives for the Healthcare Industry

Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), all pesticide products (including surface sanitizing products) must be registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) prior to sale, distribution, or use in the United States. EPA maintains a list of pesticide products that should kill the SARS-CoV-2 virus, called List N. EPA recently released new interim guidance allowing it to expedite review of some applications for new and amended registrations for products intended to kill SARS-CoV-2.

EPA now plans to expedite its review of the addition of residual efficacy claims for current or new registrations on List N, products that would qualify for List N, or products that can be used as a residual supplement for disinfecting products already on List N. Residual efficacy claims are essentially claims that a product has antimicrobial effects for extended periods of time—up to days, weeks, or even months.

Healthcare entities should be sure to use only List N products for any surfaces that need to be sanitized for SARS-CoV-2 exposure, and should be on the lookout in the future for any products that may be added to the list with residual sanitizing claims. Providers should also note that some surface sanitizing products may be subject to both EPA and FDA jurisdiction, and may potentially require FDA review. However, this interim guidance does not apply to products that are subject to FDA’s exclusive jurisdiction, like hand sanitizers.

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