Lysol & Coronavirus Info

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Disinfectants and cleaning agents were among the products which quickly sold-out when the World Health Organization released the official announcement that we are amidst a global pandemic. However, worryingly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have noted an increase in calls to poison centers due to the misuse of these chemicals since the beginning of the pandemic.

In this article, we will discuss which disinfectants and cleaning agents have been found to be effective against the Novel Coronavirus, and of course, how to use these properly.

Does Lysol Disinfectant Spray Work Against COVID-19?

In early July, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the results of its first tests, which showed that Lysol Disinfectant Spray and Lysol Disinfectant Max Cover Mist met their criteria for use against the virus which causes COVID-19. It has since expanded the list to include over 400 other products and brands.

So, yes,  the quick answer is that Lysol Disinfectant Spray does work against the virus which causes COVID-19.

The findings from a peer-reviewed study published in the American Journal of Infection Control indicate that Lysol and other similar household disinfectant products have a greater than 99.9% efficacy against the Novel Coronavirus, or designated by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses as SARS-CoV-2.

EPA Lysol Certification

The EPA tests different disinfecting and cleaning products that are available in the market. Those which qualify based on the following criteria are then included in List N

  1. Shown to be effective against SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19;
  2. Shown to be effective against viruses that are more difficult to kill than SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19; or
  3. Shown to be effective against another type of human Coronavirus similar to SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19.

It should be noted that the EPA insists that the products included in List N only be used according to their label directions. To date, Lysol has earned EPA certifications for 17 of its products.

How to Use Lysol vs. Coronavirus?

Each Lysol product will have its own formulation type, and minimum recommended contact time in order to be effective against the Novel Coronavirus. Moreover, each product will also be effective only for specific surface types.

The following products are not to be used on the skin, ingested, inhaled, injected, or used to clean food.

Product name Formulation type Minimum contact time in minutes Surface type
1. Lysol Disinfecting Wipes (All Scents)
Wipe
2
Hard Nonporous; Rinsing required if surface being disinfected is to come in contact with food
2. Lysol Disinfectant Max Cover Mist
Ready-to-use
2
Hard Nonporous
3. Lysol Disinfectant Spray
Ready-to-use
2
Hard Nonporous; Rinsing required if the surface being disinfected is to come in contact with food
4. Lysol Brand Foaming Disinfectant Basin Tub & Tile Cleaner II
Ready-to-use
10
Hard Nonporous
5. Lysol Brand Toilet Bowl Cleaner with Bleach
Ready-to-use
5
Hard Nonporous
6. Lysol Laundry Sanitizer
Dilutable
5
Porous; laundry presoak only
7. Lysol Bathroom Cleaner
Ready-to-use
5
Hard Nonporous; Rinsing required if the surface being disinfected is to come in contact with food
8. Lysol Neutra Air 2 in 1
Ready-to-use
.5 (30 seconds)
Hard Nonporous; Rinsing required if the surface being disinfected is to come in contact with food
9. Lysol Brand All Purpose Cleaner
Ready-to-use
2
Hard Nonporous
10. Lysol Brand Deodorizing Disinfectant
Dilutable
10
Hard Nonporous
11. Lysol Kitchen Pro Antibacterial Cleaner
Ready-to-use
2
Hard Nonporous; Rinsing required if the surface being disinfected is to come in contact with food
12. Lysol Brand Cling & Fresh Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Ready-to-use
.5 (30 seconds)
Hard Nonporous
13. Lysol Brand Bleach Mold And Mildew Remover
Ready-to-use
.5 (30 seconds)
Hard Nonporous
14. Lysol Brand Heavy Duty Cleaner Disinfectant Concentrate
Dilutable
5
Hard Nonporous; Rinsing required if the surface being disinfected is to come in contact with food
15. Lysol Brand Power Plus Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Read-to-use
10
Hard Nonporous
16. Lysol Brand Lime & Rust Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Ready-to-use
10
Hard Nonporous
17. Lysol Brand Clean & Fresh Multi-surface Cleaner
Dilutable
3
Hard Nonporous; Rinsing required if the surface being disinfected is to come in contact with food

Alternatives Disinfectants Against COVID-19

If brand specific products like Lysol are unavailable, the CDC recommends the use of other common household chemicals like bleach and alcohol. Common household bleach with concentrations of 5% – 6% or 1000ppm sodium hypochlorite can be used on appropriate surfaces, after proper dilution.

Contact time should be at least 1 minute, and ensure proper ventilation during and after use. Avoid inhaling chemical fumes because these are harmful to your health.

To properly dilute bleach, use only room temperature water, using a ratio of 5 tablespoons of bleach per gallon of water. Alcohol-based wipes, sanitizers, or sprays with at least 70% alcohol may also be used to clean surfaces and skin. For hand hygiene, washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds should be enough for most situations.

Government regulations distinguish between products that claim to disinfect, sanitize, and clean surfaces. 

Disinfecting kills bacteria and viruses on surfaces, but does not necessarily remove their remains. Cleaning removes bacteria, viruses, dirt, and other impurities from surfaces, but does not kill bacteria and viruses. Both should be used in conjunction with each other, generally, first by cleaning and then, disinfecting surfaces.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates antibacterial soaps, hand sanitizers, antiseptic washes, and similar products that may be used on the skin.

The EPA regulates surface disinfectant products with more rigorous testing requirements compared to surface sanitizing products. To date, there are no sanitizer-only products that have been shown to work against viruses. There are, however, products that are registered with the EPA as both sanitizers and disinfectants after complying with the testing requirements for both.

The EPA also tests cleaning products if these products make claims on their labeling regarding effectiveness against bacteria or viruses.

Moreover, the CDC reminds the public to always read the instructions on the proper usage of cleaning and disinfectant products, to wear protective gear when using these products, and not to mix these products together.

Lysol themselves have stated in their website that none of their disinfectants are to be ingested or administered to any part of the human body. Their products are meant to be used as directed.

Another popular disinfectant brand that is effective in eliminating the Coronavirus is Clorox. Here are some specific Clorox products that are also as effective as Lysol:

FAQs:

Lysol spray cans are aerosol cans. Once these are used up and emptied, these must be disposed of properly as these can contain harmful chemicals. The EPA identifies all aerosol cans as hazardous waste and classified them as “universal wastes”.

Facilities such as hospitals, schools, restaurants, and other large establishments that require the regular use or products packaged in aerosol cans may have a different set of specifications and rules for aerosol can disposal. Refer to your local and state regulations for more information.

For household aerosol cans however, it is best to take them to your nearest recycling center. Because aerosol cans are made of high-value metals, these are recommended for recycling.

However, you must ensure that the spray can must be completely empty. The recycling may not accept it for recycling if it still has some contents in it. You must also not puncture the aerosol can as this may possibly explode. The plastic caps on aerosol cans must be removed, as well, before you take in for recycling.

Verify with your local hazardous waste treatment facility for further instructions before sending in aerosol cans and other metal waste products.

In general, when ingested or inhaled in copious amounts, the toxic chemicals found in Lysol and other disinfectant products are harmful and dangerous to children. If you are using disinfectants to wipe down specific areas in your home or facility that is frequented for children, it’s best to do with no children within the vicinity.

Parents and caregivers are advised to leave the room unoccupied for 30 minutes to a few hours (depending on the degree of cleaning) before children can come into the room.

Conclusion

Whether in the face of a pandemic or not, it is always good practice to clean, disinfect, and sanitize surfaces we regularly come in contact with. Brand-specific products with EPA or FDA certifications provide the guarantee that if used properly, they are effective against viruses like the one which causes COVID-19.

If not available, common household chemicals like bleach or alcohol may be used. In either case, these products must be used only as directed in order to ensure effectiveness, and safety.

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