Lots of us are preparing for the spread of the novel coronavirus. One of the supplies people are stocking up on is disinfectant. Last week I looked at the can of Lysol in our bathroom at the station to see if that was one of the germs that the spray killed. It said it was. Then I read an article a couple of days later that said it might be true, but it's complicated. It left me scratching my head wondering if it was worth getting anything like that. Last Thursday the Environmental Protection Agency provided some clarity on the matter.

There's good news when it comes to using disinfectant to battle the coronavirus. According to the EPA:

Coronaviruses are enveloped viruses, meaning they are one of the easiest types of viruses to kill with the appropriate disinfectant product. Consumers using these disinfectants on an enveloped emerging virus should follow the directions for use on the product’s master label, paying close attention to the contact time for the product on the treated surface (i.e., how long the disinfectant should remain on the surface).

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler says, "Using the correct disinfectant is an important part of preventing and reducing the spread of illnesses along with other critical aspects such as hand washing."

Looking at the EPA's list I saw many Clorox products and several Lysol products, as well as many other brands including Ecolab and Sterilex. You can see the Environmental Protection Agency's complete list here.

This is a good development in trying to prevent spread of the coronavirus. Other things you can do to stay healthy include not touching your face with your hands, and washing your hands frequently for at least twenty seconds or using a high alcohol hand sanitizer.