New York Approves Use Of Certain Disinfectant Products Against Novel Coronavirus

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As part of the State of New York’s response to the global spread of novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (“NYDEC”) on March 16 published a list of disinfectant products registered and approved for use in the state against the virus. This listing identifies those EPA-registered products that NYDEC has approved for distribution across the state.

In New York, a pesticide product used to disinfect surfaces or objects must first be registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and then approved for use in the state by NYDEC. Disinfectants, sanitizers, and other substances intended for use on objects and surfaces against microorganisms are considered antimicrobial pesticides and cannot be sold or distributed unless they are first registered by EPA under the Federal Fungicide, Insecticide, and Rodenticide Act. However, when emerging viral pathogens like the novel coronavirus arise, few if any EPA-registered disinfectants usually specify use against them, and it can be very difficult for manufacturers to test and assess product efficacy in a timely manner in order to add these viruses to existing product registrations. EPA therefore activated its Emerging Viral Pathogens Guidance for Antimicrobial Pesticides earlier this year in order to rapidly permit the distribution and use of pre-approved disinfectant products against the novel coronavirus. The Agency subsequently published a list of such pre-approved disinfectant products. 

Even after registration by EPA, disinfectant products may only be distributed for use against the novel coronavirus in New York if also approved by NYDEC. Accordingly, the Department’s newly published list identifies those EPA-approved products available for distribution in New York. NYDEC plans to update its list as EPA expands its own. 

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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