A question I am often asked is what should I use to clean surfaces like desk tops, computer keyboards, doorknobs, handrails and other nonporous surfaces. The EPA has a great guide on their website to help you identify antimicrobial products that are registered by the EPA to disinfect hard, non-porous surfaces that may be contaminated with the 2009-H1N1 flu.
EPA registers disinfectants and as part of the registration process, EPA evaluates the product efficacy to make sure the public health label claims are accurate. EPA believes, based on available scientific information, that the currently registered influenza A virus products will be effective against the 2009-H1N1 flu strain and other influenza A virus strains on hard, non-porous surfaces. For safe and effective use of these products, always follow label instructions for these products, paying special attention to the product’s dilution rate (if applicable) and contact time (how long it should remain on the surface to be effective).
The CDC stresses (as does the rest of the world) that your first line of defense is to wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based sanitizer (hand rub). These registered disinfectant products are for use on hard, non-porous surfaces, such as desk surfaces, doorknobs, handles, tables or floors. EPA emphasizes that these products are not to be used on the skin or to be taken orally.
More than 500 antimicrobial products are registered by EPA specifically for use against influenza A virus. This is not a complete list since some products may have different distributor or product names and may not be referenced. Approved products specifically have label information which states they provide effectiveness against “Influenza A viruses”.
Download the list, check it out and then go shopping to have a safer and healthier home, school and business this fall!