Routine environmental surface disinfection procedures are appropriate for controlling SARS-CoV-21 in all dental healthcare settings—including patient-care areas where aerosol-generating procedures are performed—according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Interim Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Dental Settings During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Federal OSHA’s Guidance Document for dental employers to protect dental healthcare personnel (DHCP) from exposure to COVID-19 during the pandemic.
DHCP should ensure environmental cleaning and disinfection procedures are followed consistently and correctly after each patient, as specified below.
When performing dental procedures, DHCP should follow standard practices for cleaning and surface disinfection of dental operatories and equipment potentially contaminated with SARS-CoV-2 between patients, according to CDC Guideline for Disinfection and Sterilization in Healthcare Facilities, 2008 and Guidelines for Infection Control in Dental Health Care Settings–2003.
Note that DHCP who perform cleaning and disinfection may require personal protective equipment (PPE) and/or other controls to protect them simultaneously from chemical hazards posed by disinfectants and from human blood, body fluids, and other potentially infectious materials to which they have occupational exposure in the dental healthcare environment.
A list of US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered surface disinfectants for use against SARS-CoV-2 (qualified under EPA’s emerging viral pathogens program), List N2, was compiled by the agency. According to the EPA, when disinfecting surfaces against SARS-CoV-2, the following five guidelines should be followed to ensure the products are used in a safe manner:
- Never apply the product to people or food. Do not ingest disinfectant products.
- Always follow the use instructions on the disinfectant’s label, including donning recommended PPE. Never mix products, unless specified in the use directions.
- Before applying a disinfectant, clean the surface with a cleaning product, as labeled.
- Follow directions on the label regarding contact time—the amount of time the surface must remain visibly wet to ensure efficacy against the virus.
- Perform hand hygiene after using a disinfectant.
1SARS-CoV-2 is the novel coronavirus that causes Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
2Both of OSHA Review’s SUV Disinfectant products–concentrate and wipes–are on EPA’s List N, referenced under EPA Registration Numbers–6836-366 and 6836-372.