List N was introduced by the Environmental Protection Agency in direct reaction to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. What’s on the list has evolved over time.
March 5, 2020
The virus that causes COVID-19 was not yet readily available for testing. The EPA published a list of products that were already registered with “proven efficacy against emerging pathogens.” The list included 200 products which had proven to be effective against other strains of human coronaviruses. Coronaviruses were first discovered in the 1960’s, and the effectiveness of disinfectants on these viruses was widely tested and well known.
April 2, 2020
The EPA expands List N to over 360 products, adding those that are effective against Norovirus and/or Ebola. These two enveloped viruses are more difficult to kill than Coronavirus, and therefore met the necessary qualifications.
July 31, 2020
SARS-CoV-2 became available for lab testing. Fifteen additional products were added. In early October, 2020, the EPA List N had grown to over 500.
EPA List N grows to over 500 products that demonstrate efficacy against:
- the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19)
- a pathogen that is harder to kill than SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), or
- a different human coronavirus similar to SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19)