COVID-19 and Hard Surface Disinfectants

COVID-19 and Hard Surface Disinfectants

COVID-19 and Hard Surface Disinfectants – What You Need to Know

In Canada, chemical products that are used to clean, sanitize or disinfect environmental surfaces and inanimate objects are regulated under different regulatory frameworks. As of recently, these products have been in high demand to help stop the spread of COVID-19. To provide some background, coronaviruses are enveloped viruses which are the easiest types of viruses to kill with the appropriate disinfectant. It’s important to always follow label directions and acknowledge safety warnings. 

The way these virus-killing products are regulated is not always based on chemical composition. Rather, regulation is based on the use or purpose of the product. Therefore, the presence or concentration of a certain antimicrobial active ingredient in a product does not solely indicate how it is regulated. 

In general, there are two key factors which determine the regulatory framework that applies to a product:

  1. the intended use of the product (represented by the expressed or implied claims on the product label) including the level of antimicrobial activity 
  2. the type of surface or object to which the product is intended to be applied

Before these products can be sold in Canada, they require a pre-market assessment and a Drug Identification Number (DIN). To receive a DIN number and market authorization, applicants must provide safety, efficacy and quality evidence that the product performs as indicated by the label. This information is submitted to the regulator, Health Canada, in the form of a DIN application. There are a few different types of DIN applications, based on if the product is subject to a category IV monograph or labelling standard (LS).  

Hard Surface Disinfectants

Disinfectants referred to in this blog are for use on:

  • non-critical medical devices
  • hard non-porous environmental surfaces
  • inanimate objects in domestic, industrial/institutional, hospital, food processing and/or barn premises

They are also referred to as “hard surface disinfectants”. Sometimes, the labels for hard surface disinfectants may also have hard non-porous food and non-food contact surface sanitizer claims, classifying them as “disinfectant-sanitizers”. A disinfectant-sanitizer is a chemical product represented for primary surface disinfectant uses and secondary uses as a sanitizer on environmental surfaces and inanimate objects.

Health Canada has published a list of hard-surface disinfectants that are likely to be effective for use against (COVID-19). to see them, visit the official website of Health Canada. 

Surface Sanitizers

A surface sanitizer is a substance, or mixture of substances, that reduces the population of microorganisms on environmental inanimate surfaces and objects. Unlike hard surface disinfectants, surface sanitizers do not destroy or eliminate all microorganisms.

In Canada, surface sanitizers are considered pest control products. These products must be registered before they can be manufactured, imported, distributed, sold or used in Canada to ensure they meet Canadian health and environmental standards. 

As surface sanitizers are not as effective as hard-surface disinfectants, Health Canada is prioritizing the availability of disinfectants at this time.

If your hard surface disinfectant product requires a DIN number, reach out to Quality Smart Solutions today and our team will be happy to help!

How Quality Smart Solutions can help:

As demand for medical devices, disinfectants and hand sanitizers continues to increase to keep the public safe, our team continues to work tirelessly to deliver the compliance and import solutions that are needed.  

Our Experts at Quality Smart Solutions continue to support your needs for natural health products, foods, cosmetics, OTC drugs and medical devices for North America. Contact us today to learn more about how we can support your compliance needs during and after licensing!

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About the author

Kalpna Mistry
Kalpna Mistry


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