EPA oversees the regulation known as FIFRA, the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act. In addition to those items named in the regulation, herb-and pest-icides, anti-mildew agents, and disinfectants fall under its purview, as they reduce or eliminate pests (and pathogens are considered ‰??pests‰??). In order to have the EPA ID #, a company must provide test data to the EPA showing the disinfectant‰??s efficacy against whatever agent(s) they claim it kills. There may be safety studies as well‰??I don‰??t have experience with that side of it‰??but if you look at a container of say, Lysol wipes, you will see the EPA registration number and the biological agents for which they have shown efficacy. EPA takes legal action against a seller of a FIFRA-regulated item that is not registered. (Which is why generic bleach generally doesn‰??t claim to be a disinfectant).
Will non-EPA registered bleach perform similarly to Clorox? Probably, but again, there is no efficacy testing. Will your Biosafety Officer or Institutional Biosafety Committee accept a non-EPA registered disinfectant? In my experience, IBCs and BSOs require all disinfectants to be EPA-registered.
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