Overregulating the chemistry industry jeopardizes innovation, jobs, and economic growth. Learn more.

Anastasia Swearingen
Environmental Protection Agency Entrance

Products should be safe and the public rightfully wants to understand how to use biocide products safely. When biocides are used deliberately, in the right place, in the right amount, and at the right time, they help address many health and sanitation concerns.

Because safety is a number one priority, biocide manufacturers go above and beyond what is required of them -- they don’t believe it’s just up to regulators to make sure their products are safe for their intended use.

How They Are Regulated

Biocides are regularly evaluated by their producers and also the government. There are laws in place to make sure they’re being used safely and effectively. First and foremost, antimicrobials are strictly regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state agencies. These chemistries cannot be available in the market place until the EPA, or in some instances, the Food and Drug Administration, find that they can be used safely.

The Product has to be Safe

If a product claims on its label to kill microbes like germs or bacteria, the company who makes the product must prove to the EPA that it kills what it is supposed to kill and that it does not cause any significant harm to people, animals, or the environment.

Product Labels Must be Clear

Safe use of products is critical to industry. Industry strives to meet their commitment to sake of responsible use by providing clear, easy-to-understand instructions. Product labels are reviewed carefully by industry, the EPA, and state agencies to ensure they tell users what they need to know.

It’s the Law

The law requires the EPA to frequently reevaluate each antimicrobial product registration to make sure it continues to meet safety standards. Products that don’t meet standards are removed from the market because there should never be a question about the safety of the products.

The Biocide Industry’s Commitment to Safety and Performance

When it comes to the products made with biocides, manufacturers and producers are not just relying on the government regulations. They don’t believe it’s just up to the government to make sure their products are safe for their intended use. They regulate themselves by routinely monitoring and assessing their own products and taking corrective action when needed.

So much of industry’s research happens long before an antimicrobial product is approved for use by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). A series of safety, toxicity, and exposure tests are run to demonstrate the product and the chemical components of the product pose little risk to human health or the environment. These tests are often run by independent third-party laboratories.

For antimicrobials used for disinfection and sanitation in public health, industry relies on tests to prove antimicrobials kill specific bacteria and germs – like E. coli. Without this information, these products could not even begin the process to obtain EPA approval.