The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued a warning to consumers to beware of vendors who may be marketing ineffective and unregistered products claiming to disinfect surfaces or entire rooms against the H1N1 influenza virus.
In the current flu-conscious climate, heightened anxiety about the spread of the H1N1 virus has bred false claims in the marketplace, said Steve Owens, EPA assistant administrator.
The EPA registers disinfectants for use on hard surfaces, and when used according to label directions, such products are effective against influenza A viruses, including the H1N1 pandemic strain, he said. But there are no products registered by the EPA that will disinfect or sterilize the air of a room by fogging, he said. Also claims for disinfecting carpeting, drapes and other porous surfaces are false, he said.
A list of more than 500 antimicrobial products registered by EPA for use against the influenza A virus and H1N1 on hard surfaces is available on the EPA's Web site at www.epa.gov/oppad001/influenza-disinfectants.html.