EPA approves 3 Zep disinfectants that kill SARS-CoV-2 in ‘60 seconds’

The Environmental Protection Agency has confirmed acceptance of three disinfectant products from Zep which kill SARS-CoV-2 in 60 seconds. (Photo: Getty Images)
The Environmental Protection Agency has confirmed acceptance of three disinfectant products from Zep which kill SARS-CoV-2 in 60 seconds. (Photo: Getty Images)

Maintenance and cleaning solution company Zep announced Tuesday that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) confirmed acceptance of three of its products to protect against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The acceptance was based on testing data submitted by Zep that showed its Zep Antibacterial Disinfectant & Cleaner with Lemon, Zep Spirit II Ready-To-Use Detergent Disinfectant, and Zep All-Purpose Bathroom Disinfectant Cleaner kill SARS-CoV-2 on hard, non-porous surfaces in 60 seconds.

"We are proud to deliver a meaningful step in the ongoing fight against COVID-19 by providing our customers with products that deliver the fastest protection against SARS-CoV-2,” Dan Smytka, Chief Executive Officer of Zep, said in a press release. "Our 80-year history of offering the highest quality of cleaning and disinfectant products guarantees our customers’ every cleaning need is covered both at home and at work."

These aren’t the only Zep disinfectants that are EPA-approved for use against SARS-CoV-2: The company has 17 others that made the cut.

Zep publicist Lesley Stanley confirmed to Yahoo Life that these are not new formulas—they’re the same products that they’ve always been.

While the news sounds exciting, experts say it’s not groundbreaking. “We know many disinfectants are effective against SARS-CoV-2,” says Dr. Amesh A. Adalja, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, tells Yahoo Life. “You just have to provide data on this specific virus to be able to claim on your label or marketing material that your product kills the virus that causes COVID-19.”

But Zep actually did research to show that its products perform well against SARS-CoV-2, Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist and professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, tells Yahoo Life. “This company has actually done studies and submitted them to the EPA to get specific approval, and good for them,” he says. But, Schaffner says, “most common household disinfectants kill the COVID virus. We can rest assured about that.”

Jamie Alan, an assistant professor of pharmacology and toxicology at Michigan State University, tells Yahoo Life that this is “great” news. “This is another product available as a disinfectant, and disinfectants are in short supply these days,” she says.

Related video: Pine-Sol approved by EPA to kill COVID-19

There are currently 490 disinfectants that have been approved by the EPA to kill SARS-CoV-2, including several products made by Clorox and Lysol.

While the news is mostly hype, Adalja admits that this designation is definitely good for business. “It’s obviously going to give these products an advantage,” he says. “But many other detergents, including just a bar of soap, will be effective against the virus.”

For the latest coronavirus news and updates, follow along at https://news.yahoo.com/coronavirus. According to experts, people over 60 and those who are immunocompromised continue to be the most at risk. If you have questions, please reference the CDC’s and WHO’s resource guides.

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