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 =E2=80=98pests'). In order to have the EPA ID #, a company must provide test data to the EPA showing the disinfectant=E2=80™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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