US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Andrew Wheeler has hosted a series of conference calls with household and consumer product organisations to accelerate the availability of disinfectant products.
Wheeler spoke with members of the Household & Consumer Products Association (HCPA) and the Consumer Brands Association (CBA) to discuss the agency's "expanded and expedited" work in response to the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. He said: "Today's calls were extremely productive and demonstrate the importance of public and private sector collaboration, not only in times of great stress, but every day.
"Our collaboration is critical to slowing the spread of the virus, keeping us safe and healthy. By expediting reviews - both in labelling familiar products, and by approving new products for market - we're aiding American families and communities across America."
In 2016, the EPA establishes a process for adding emerging viral pathogen claims to EPA-registered disinfectant products to boost the availability of products when a public health crisis is declared. Under the emerging viral pathogen programme, the EPA has accelerated the review of submissions from companies requesting to add claims to their already registered surface disinfectant labels. In many cases, the EPA has been able to approve claims within 14 days, compared with the typical 90 days.
Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the CBA said: "We appreciate all that administrator Wheeler and the EPA are doing to help our industry keep manufacturing life-saving products.
"From disinfectants to hand sanitisers and soap, our companies are doing their best to operate at full capacity. We commend the EPA for its commitment to preventing supply chain disruptions and getting these products in the hands of Americans when they need them most."
"Knowing that you are using the most effective products is critically important when you are trying to protect your family," added Steve Caldeira, president and CEO of the HCPA. "We encourage everyone to check the product against EPA's list by finding the registration number on the product label. Read the label, follow the directions and pay attention to how long the product should stay on the surface you're cleaning.
"HCPA applauds EPA for working so hard to provide consumers and manufacturers an expeditious and transparent means to identify effective products to mitigate this challenging public health crisis."