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Disinfecting Against the Omicron Variant and other SARS-CoV-2 Variants

On November 26, 2021, the World Health Organization classified a new corona virus variant B.1.1.529 (variant of SARS-CoV-2), and named it Omicron.  WHO has declared Omicron as a ‘Variant of Concern’.

Omicron is a Variant of Concern

All viruses constantly change through mutation and as expected, new variants of the human corona virus that causes COVID-19 will continue to emerge.   A new virus variant has one or more mutations that differentiate it from the predominant virus variants already circulating among the general population.

Scientists have expressed concern about the Omicron variant because the large number of mutations makes it stand out over prior virus mutations.  These mutations may make the virus more easily transmissible.  There is also some evidence to suggest re-infection rates are higher with this variant, but this is preliminary and more research is underway.

The concerns about Omicron and other variants like the Delta variant leads to questions amongst the public and sanitation professionals about whether the disinfectants they are using now will be effective against the new corona virus variants.

Do disinfectants kill newer strains of coronavirus including Omicron?

The EPA and CDC recommends List N disinfectants for all variants of SARS-CoV-2; there has not been a change regarding the efficacy of disinfectants.

Below is the EPA Statement in response to questions about disinfectant efficacy against virus variants:

“EPA expects all products on List N to kill all strains (variants)of SARS-CoV-2. Genetic changes to the virus do not impact the efficacy of disinfectants.  List N disinfectants work by chemically inactivating viruses. The difficulty of killing a virus depends on its physical features, and mutations to SARS-CoV-2 have not changed the basic physical properties”

Understanding EPA LIST N Disinfectants for Corona Virus (COVID-19)

The EPA developed the LIST N of disinfectants that are expected to be effective against SARS-CoV-2, the human corona virus that causes COVID-19.  The purpose was simply to give the public quick access to a comprehensive list of disinfectants they could use confidently to disinfect surfaces against the virus.

If you want to search list N for a particular disinfectant, please note you should do it by EPA registration number, which is clearly listed on the label for any disinfectant.  If the product does not have an EPA registration number, you won’t find it on list N.  Below is a list of Multi-Clean brand disinfectants that can be found on list N and some of the definitions you will find on your LIST N searches.

Multi-CleanEPA Reg No.Active(s)Product Name & CoContact TimeFormula TypeSurface TypesWhy is this product on List N?To kill SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), follow disinfection directions for the following pathogen(s)
Century Q47371-129quatFormulation HWS- 256, Lonza LLC1 minDilutableHard Nonporous (HN)Tested against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19); Emerging viral pathogen claimSARS-CoV-2
MC Disinfecting Wipes1839-190quatStepan Disinfectant Wipe, Stepan Co30 secWipeHard Nonporous (HN)Tested against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19); Emerging viral pathogen claimSARS-CoV-2
128 E-FECTicide6836-365quatNugen MB5N-128, Lonza LLC1 minDilutable; Electrostatic sprayHard Nonporous (HN)Tested against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19); Emerging viral pathogen claimSARS-CoV-2
Peroxicide6836-385PeroxideDS-6640, Lonza LLC1 minRTUHard Nonporous (HN)Tested against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19); Emerging viral pathogen claimSARS-CoV-2
Microcide TB1839-83quatDetergent Disinfectant Pump Spray, Stepan Co.1 minRTUHard Nonporous (HN); Food Contact Post-Rinse Req (FCR)Tested against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19); Emerging viral pathogen claimSARS-CoV-2
Millennium Q1839-95quatDetergent Disinfectant, Stepan Co.10 minDilutableHard Nonporous (HN); Food Contact Post-Rinse Req (FCR)Emerging Viral Pathogen ClaimNorovirus

LIST N Definitions:

Primary EPA registration number:  This is the number that identifies a product on LIST N and includes only the first 2 sets of numbers.  In the image below, the EPA registration number is 47371-129.  Any product with this number is approved regardless of the company name or product name.Century Q Disinfectant label

Active Ingredient:  This is the active germicidal ingredient in the product.  These active ingredients must also be listed on the product label.

Product Name and Company (Primary Registrant): This is the product name assigned by the primary registrant Company.  The product and company name maybe different than the product name that you might be using.  That is because other companies are licensed by the primary registrant to manufacture the product under their own company name and brand.  This is called subregistration.

Follow the Disinfectant and Preparation for the following virus:  This indicates the instructions and contact times to be followed from the product label and may be the actual virus SARS-CoV-2, another human corona virus, or another virus harder to kill than corona virus (Emerging Virus Claim).

Contact Time:  This is the time the surface should stay moist in order to kill the pathogen.

Formula Type:  Indicates if the disinfectant product is ready to use, a concentrate, or a wipe.  This section also indicates whether the product can be used for electrostatic spray application.

Surface Type:   The types of hard non-porous surfaces (HN) the disinfectant can use.  Special designations include for use on food contact surfaces that require a water rinse (FCR) and use on food contact with no rinse required (FCNR).

Use Site:  This includes areas where the product could be used including healthcare, institutional (schools, daycares, office bldgs. Etc) and Residential.

Why is this product on List N?  This explains the type of claim the product uses to be on LIST N.  The superior claim is the one where the disinfectant has been tested for efficacy against the actual virus.

  1. Emerging Virus Pathogen Claim: This claim means the disinfectant has proven to be effective against a pathogen that is more difficult to kill than a human corona virus.  This designation allows a claim to be effective on SARS-CoV-2.
  2. Tested Against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19): This means the disinfectant was tested for efficacy against the actual virus that causes COVID-19.
  3. Tested against human corona virus: This means it has been tested against another previously identified human corona virus other than SARS-CoV-2.

Instructions to Kill SARS-CoV-2:  This provides guidance on label information to follow to kill SARS-CoV-2.  The listed pathogen may be different than SARS-CoV-2 if the product is using claims #1 or #3 above.

More Information on Multi-Clean Brand Products

Multi-Clean manufactures a comprehensive line of disinfection products with efficacy toward SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19.  The company also offers E-Spray Electrostatic Sprayers (Victory Brand) for use with our disinfecting products.

Line of Disinfectant products from Multi-Clean

Multi-Clean 128 E-FECTicide Disinfectant is Approved For Use with Electrostatic Sprayers
Technician disinfecting lockers with a Victory Backpack Electrostatic Sprayer

128 E-Fecticide Disinfectant approved for use with electrostatic sprayers

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