How you, doin’? We are learning something new every day about Covid-19 and how it affects us. While many of us have been waiting in lines shopping for brand name sanitizers and disinfectants only to find the shelves are bare, how many of us asked will it work on the current coronavirus? The fact is, if we see a brand name like Clorox, Lysol, or any one of the myriad products from others, we assume that they are safe for sanitizing or disinfecting the Covid-19 virus—it may not be so. This Special Edition post is directed to our food manufacturing and restaurant clients.
I received a white paper from our primary lab, Deibel Laboratories (a trusted source), this morning, What’s the difference between sanitizers and disinfectants? More importantly, do they work against the COVID-19 Virus? This is good information for anyone but especially if you are in senior management or part of a production or quality assurance team.
Sanitizers and disinfectants used on inanimate surfaces are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and are certified to meet certain pre-defined criteria. By law, a chemical product cannot be labeled as a sanitizer or a disinfectant unless, and until, it is EPA certified.
In a class of their own, topical antiseptic products including hand sanitizers, wipes and antibacterial soaps, are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because they are used in or on living humans or animals. They are over-the-counter drugs and the active ingredients in these products must be proven to be safe and effective.
What’s the Difference Between Sanitizers, Disinfectants and Cleaners? The terms cleaner, sanitizer and disinfectant are often confused.
Time to kill or reduce… The time it takes to kill target organisms, also called the “dwell time” must also be listed on a product’s label.
The ongoing COVID-19 outbreak has made it hard to procure sanitizers and disinfectants that were readily available prior to the pandemic. This has especially been the case for hand sanitizers. To help prevent sanitizer shortages, the EPA and FDA are taking actions to ease the production and availability of EPA registered surface disinfectants and sanitizers and FDA regulated hand (topical) sanitizers.
EPA requires the source of active ingredients in disinfectants to have EPA approval prior to product manufacture. However, EPA is temporarily allowing registered disinfectant producers to source certain active ingredients from alternative suppliers if they inform EPA and the resulting formulation is chemically similar to the current formulation.
The FDA has taken action to increase the supply of hand sanitizers. One new policy allows pharmacists in state-licensed pharmacies or federal facilities to prepare alcohol-based hand sanitizers for consumer and health care personnel without FDA regulatory action for the duration of the public health emergency.
Additionally, FDA is temporarily allowing preparation of alcohol-based hand sanitizer products by any firm registered as an over-the-counter drug manufacturer. However, FDA requires the use of a formulation specified by both the FDA and WHO shown below.
Reference: Reference WHO and FDA.
This White Paper was compiled by Ryan Maus and Laurie Post
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To you and everyone dear to you, be strong, be positive, stay well, stay safe and be kind.
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