On August 24, 2020, EPA announced an emergency exemption in the state of Texas that permits American Airlines and Total Orthopedics Sports & Spine to use an antiviral that kills microbes like COVID-19 on surfaces for up to seven days.  This exemption request was submitted under Section 18 of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide

Products claiming to protect users against microbes, such as those that are currently being used to protect us from COVID-19, are flying off the shelves.  Manufacturers of these products must comply with regulations governing the use of such pesticides.  One of said regulations is the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

Under FIFRA, EPA regulates all pesticides distributed or sold in the United States.  EPA defines a pesticide as a product that is intended for: (i) preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating any pest; (ii) use as a plant regulator, defoliant, or desiccant; or (iii) use as a nitrogen stabilizer.  FIFRA generally requires that pesticide products be registered (licensed) by EPA.

However, there is an exemption to the requirement for FIFRA registration, known as the “Treated Articles Exemption.”  This exemption applies to qualifying treated articles that bear claims stating the article itself is protected.  To qualify for the exemption, the product being sold must be: (i) registered for such use in or on the article and (ii) the product label must only bear claims that the product itself is protected.Continue Reading FIFRA’s treated articles exemption: Should your antimicrobial product be registered?