In January 2020, EPA responded quickly to the COVID-19 pandemic by triggering its Emerging Viral Pathogens Guidance allowing registrants who provide data against a harder to kill virus to make marketing claims against the SARS-CoV-2. Shortly after, EPA created List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 to assist consumers with finding products effective against the virus. The agency also offered an expedited review of all registered disinfectant products requesting to add claims against SARS-CoV-2. California Department of Pesticide Regulation (CalDPR) then followed EPA’s lead and began offering expedited review for the addition of SARS-CoV-2 claims to products on EPA’s List N. Since releasing the guidance, EPA and CalDPR have reviewed and approved hundreds of products to assist in the fight against the COVID-19 causing virus.

Last week, both the EPA Office of Pesticide Programs and California DPR released updates stating they will no longer expedite review of SARS-CoV-2 claims for surface disinfectants in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The removal of expedited review for surface disinfectants includes new product registrations and updates regarding the addition of SARS-CoV-2 and emerging viral pathogens claims to currently registered products. EPA noted that the agency will no longer expedite review for products adding electrostatic spraying directions for use against SARS-CoV-2 on surfaces. CalDPR confirmed that any submissions postmarked before April 29th, 2021 will continue to be expedited under the previous policy.

Both organizations stated that this decision was based on the large number of available surface disinfectant products in the market for use against the SARS-CoV-2 and data from an April 5th Science Brief released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicating that there is a low risk of contracting the virus through surface transmission. In EPA’s Quarterly PRIA Stakeholder meeting, the agency reported that 549 products have been added to List N and 140 of those products have been approved for claims against SARS-CoV-2. During the pandemic, EPA has processed 343 expedited List N submission, participated in 185 pre-submission meetings, and responded to 200 congressional inquiries and 120 enforcement inquiries.

In the update, both agencies confirmed they will continue to prioritize the review of disinfectants for use against airborne transmission of the virus and return the review of surface disinfection products to standard review timelines. Thank you to EPA and CalDPR for their great efforts to review and approve products in the fight against COVID-19.

Please contact your SRC Consultant with any questions about how this update may affect your submission.


“We appreciate the efforts by both EPA and CalDPR in expediting SAR-CoV-2 related actions over the past 14 months. We believe this week’s announcements offer a realistic look at the workload pressures facing both Agencies and look forward to working with them on novel products that still warrant expediting.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       ~Tony Herber, SRC Principal Regulatory Consultant