Does Microban Work On COVID? EPA Signs Off On 24-Hour Bacteria-Shield Claims

The Environmental Protection Agency approved a spray that’s known to kill the virus that causes COVID-19 on contact, the developer said Thursday.

North America Home Care, an arm of Proctor & Gamble, said its Microban 24 Sanitizing Spray was found to kill SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the global pandemic.

Already available at most retail outlets, the spray is shown to kill 99.9% of the bacteria and viruses it comes into contact with, including the common cold and flu viruses. While it offers 24-hour protection against some common bacterial strains, the developers said it does not provide 24-hour residual protection against viruses.

Frank Esper, a doctor with the Cleveland Clinic and a company advisor, said that, without a vaccine, it’s important for people to sanitize.

“With delays in COVID-19 virus testing, having any infection may lead to significant disruptions at home, school, and work,” he said in a statement. “Therefore, over the coming cold and flu season, it will be especially important to ensure protection against viruses and bacteria that can cause infections.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Monday he felt confident a vaccine might be available yet this year, but it would only diminish the chances of showing COVID-19 symptoms, not offer a cure.

Health officials in the Northern Hemisphere are concerned the onset of colder weather will make people more susceptible to colds and flus, as well as SARS-CoV-2.

Akiki Iwasaki, a Yale immunologist, told health news agency STAT last week that colder air and less humidity means drier conditions that limit how mucus can protect against foreign invaders like the novel coronavirus, placing a premium on sanitization and disinfection.

The spray is not a drug and should not be ingested. Drugs in the U.S. are approved by the Food and Drug Administration, not the EPA.

The developers of Microsrpay 24 says it's shown to kill the virus behind the pandemic. The developers of Microsrpay 24 says it’s shown to kill the virus behind the pandemic. Photo: Proctor & Gamble

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P&G’s sanitizing spray to combat coronavirus wins EPA approval

In a time when the nation is racing to disinfect their homes, a new sanitizing product has won approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its ability to kill the novel coronavirus in 60 seconds.

Proctor and Gamble’s (P&G) Microban 24 Sanitizing Spray has won approval from the EPA, the consumer goods giant announced on Monday.

Microban 24 Sanitizing Spray is approved as effective at killing SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. (Photo: Business Wire)

Mircoban was first released in February before the coronavirus crisis was officially declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization in March. However, the product had been in development for more than two years prior to its release, Kevin Wenzel, vice president of P&G’s North American Surface Care Design & Delivery unit, told FOX Business in a statement.

“Our goal was not to compete with other products but to provide something with a new benefit that will grow the category,” he said. “We know that consumers are more focused on keeping their homes sanitized in 2020 than they’ve ever been before, and that’s why we were thrilled to be able to introduce this remarkable 24-hour bacteria shield technology into a category that hadn’t seen a true breakthrough innovation in several decades. The EPA approval of Microban 24 Sanitizing Spray to kill the virus that causes COVID-19 brings trust to a young product.”

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But as “Americans shifted from their standard sanitizing routine to one focused on protecting their homes against the COVID-19 virus,” said Martin Hettich, SVP North America Home Care, P&G, in a statement, “Procter & Gamble has been diligently working with scientists and health experts to ensure that Microban 24 Sanitizing Spray provides the effectiveness against the COVID-19 virus that people need.”


For a product to claim it can kill a specific pathogen, or SARS-CoV-2 in this instance, the EPA “must conduct a data review and provide approval,” the company said in a news release, noting that Mircoban “has been tested by a third-party lab, in accordance with the EPA testing guidelines, and was shown to kill SARS-CoV-2 in 60 seconds.”

Additionally, the product is also approved to kill nearly all — 99.9%, to be exact — of bacteria and viruses, per P&G.

Bloomberg reported that Mircoban is already on track to reach $200 million in sales per year.

The product, which is part of the EPA’s list N, is now one of a select number of spray products that have been approved by the agency to kill the novel virus.


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EPA refuses to reduce particulate pollution, linked by scientists to coronavirus deaths | Environment

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In April, as coronavirus cases multiplied across the country, the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rejected scientists’ advice to tighten air pollution standards for particulate matter, or soot.

In the next few weeks, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler likely will reaffirm that decision with a final ruling, despite emerging evidence that links particulate pollution to COVID-19 deaths.

There was enough evidence to support a stricter standard before the pandemic, said Christopher Frey, an environmental engineering professor at North Carolina State University who studies air pollution. The added threat from the coronavirus is like “icing on the cake.”

Particulate matter kills people. “It is responsible for more deaths and sickness than any other air pollutant in the world,” said Gretchen Goldman, a research director at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

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Wheeler’s decision was specifically about fine particulate matter, or PM2.5, microscopic solid and liquid droplets less than one-thirtieth the width of a human hair. The pollution comes from cars, power plants, wildfires and anything that burns fossil fuels. It causes health complications that can lead people to die earlier than they would have, and it is linked to conditions such as COPD, asthma and diabetes.

Frey was part of a 26-member scientific panel that advised the EPA on particulate pollution until Wheeler disbanded the group in 2018. Twenty of the former members continued to review the science and provided unofficial advice to Wheeler as part of the public comment process. Their letter told Wheeler— a former coal lobbyist — that tightening the standard would avoid tens of thousands of premature deaths per year.

Firing the advisory panel and opting not to pursue a more stringent particulate standard were in keeping with the administration of President Donald Trump’s dim view of environmental regulation. By one tally compiled by The New York Times, 72 regulations on air, water and soil pollution, climate change and ecosystems have been canceled or weakened, with an additional 27 in progress. EPA leadership has sidelined or ignored research by agency scientists, and career staff are censoring their reports to avoid terms like “climate change” out of fear of repercussions from political staff.

The EPA has an “apparatus of particulate matter science denial” that rivals its attacks on climate science, Frey said. “If I wanted to get rid of [regulations on] particulate matter, I would do all the things Wheeler is doing.”

Wheeler made his decision “after carefully reviewing [the] scientific evidence and consulting with the agency’s independent science advisors,” an EPA spokesperson said in a statement. “The U.S. now has some of the lowest fine particulate matter levels in the world, five times below the global average, seven times below Chinese levels, and 20 percent lower than France, Germany and Great Britain.”


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