Acknowledging that “disinfecting is a critical step in preventing and reducing the spread of viruses,” the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development has issued a cautionary reminder today to businesses and schools across the state to use only EPA-approved disinfectants to do the job.
With cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting now a major part of the fabric of our daily lives as part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the department reminds that “not all disinfectants are the same.” Today, the department is reminding the business community, educational institutions and consumers alike to only use products found on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) List which can be seen by clicking the link below:
All products on that list meet EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
Brian Verhougstraete, MDARD’s Pesticide Section Manager, tells us, “Disinfecting is a critical step in preventing and reducing the spread of viruses, bacteria, including SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus causing COVID-19.” He adds, “Always remember that you are required by state and federal law to follow the label when using disinfectants. This includes safe use of the disinfectant, the types of approved surfaces an adhering to the contact time, which is the amount of time the surface should be visibly wet.”
Disinfectants are considered pesticides by law and are regulated by MDARD and the EPA. Complying with pesticide use laws can help provide a safe and healthy environment for the workplace, the public, and schools. As some school districts continue their return to in-person instruction, it’s important that districts ensure they have developed and are following an integrated pest management (IPM) plan.
Verhougstraete stresses, “All Michigan school districts, including charter and private schools, are required to implement a MDARD-approved IPM program. Following an approved IPM plan, school districts can safely use a variety of tools and techniques to reduce the spread of diseases like COVID-19.”
MDARD reminds school districts to:
- Use EPA-registered disinfectants and follow all label directions.
- Do not use disinfectant as hand wipes or in place of sanitizers.
- Keep out of reach of students, children should not use disinfectants.
- Avoid touching wet surfaces and always wash hands after use.
- Keep the surface wet for the required contact time. The contact time is the amount of time a surface must remain wet to work. If using disinfectant wipes, multiple wipes may be required.
- Keep lids tightly closed and out of reach from children when not in use.
Additional information about the use of sanitizer, disinfectant, and antimicrobials is available in this link: Sanitizer_Disinfectant_FAQ_690207_7
For more information about MDARD’s Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division, you can visit this link: http://www.michigan.gov/mdard