COVID-19 Occupational Webinar Series: June 4th Updates

Posted on Behalf of Olivia Messina Leleck.

As part of Cardno ChemRisk’s support during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are offering bi-weekly complimentary webinars to the general public to help inform the participants on the latest issues, available resources, and updated recommendations on COVID-19. Some of the topics discussed on our June 4th webinar include:

Study Spotlight: Effect of Early Stay-at-Home Orders

recently published study investigated the association of early stay-at-home orders in U.S. states with COVID-19 projections. Researchers recorded daily hospitalizations in different states and projected exponential growth of COVID-19 over time if no effective controls had been implemented. For the four states included in the study (Colorado, Minnesota, Ohio, and Virginia), COVID-19 hospitalizations were significantly lower than projected hospitalizations after stay-at-home orders were implemented which aligned with the incubation period of COVID-19. These results indicate an association for the effectiveness of stay-at-home orders, which will help to inform future COVID-19 response strategies.

Disinfection FAQs

As a result of the current pandemic, many companies are having to make decisions for the first time regarding the use of antimicrobial agents. However, many antimicrobial chemicals are hazardous to human health, and those responsible for their selection and use should be informed about the factors that play a role in their effectiveness and safety, specifically the regulatory framework, uses and application methods, and product categories. Employers should also develop a comprehensive occupational safety and health program that includes antimicrobial chemical use.

The EPA’s List N provides a list of products approved for use against SARS-CoV-2, the disease that causes COVID-19. Our experts answered frequently asked questions about EPA List N and other issues related to antimicrobials, some of which are highlighted below:

·   How did List N appear so quickly after the emergence of SARS-CoV-2?

o  When the CDC declares an outbreak of a pathogen, the EPA Emerging Viral Pathogen Guidance activates a streamlined process for approving disinfectants. This voluntary, two-stage process involves product label amendments and allows for “off-label” claims. 

·   How do we know these products are effective against SARS-CoV-2?

o  There are no data available for the effectiveness of products on List N specifically against SARS-CoV-2. Therefore, the products on List N must be demonstrated to be effective against harder-to-kill viruses or other known human coronaviruses.

·   Are alternative disinfection methods and technologies appropriate for SARS-CoV-2?

o  Some companies may also be considering alternative disinfection methods, such as fogging, spraying, and UV irradiation. These methods provide benefits that include the ability to more easily disinfect large areas at one time, envelop objects, and provide an even coat of the chemical.
o  However, the WHO does not recommend using these techniques against SARS-CoV-2 given the limited research available on these techniques and the greater potential health risks.
o  These methods also require additional health and safety considerations for use. Normal protections may not be adequate, and employers may need to provide additional PPE, ventilation, and safety measures such as vacating the space.
o  In addition, application techniques for EPA-approved disinfectants must be followed as directed on product labels. A disinfectant product can only be used for the specific application methods specified on the label.

For more information, read our new white paper on the selection and use of antimicrobial agents. Antimicrobial Agents: Safety and Other Considerations in Selection and Use. You can also join our next webinar session on Thursday, June 18th at 10 a.m. PST/1 p.m. EST. In this special edition of the COVID-19 webinar series, the team will be exploring safety and other considerations in the selection and use of disinfectants. Click here to register.