Norwalk and Norwalk virus-like particles (NVLPs) [also known as small round structured viruses (SRSVs)] are members of the family Caliciviridae and are important causes of gastroenteritis in humans. Little is known about their survival in the environment or the disinfection procedures necessary to remove them from contaminated settings. As NVLPs cannot be grown in tissue culture, survival studies require the use of a closely related cultivable virus. This study assesses the survival of the surrogate feline calicivirus (FCV) after exposure to commercially available disinfectants and a range of environmental conditions. Disinfectants tested included glutaraldehyde, iodine, hypochlorite, a quaternary ammonium-based product, an anionic detergent and ethanol. Complete inactivation of FCV required exposure to 1000 ppm freshly reconstituted granular hypochlorite, or 5000 ppm pre-reconstituted hypochlorite solution. Glutaraldehyde and the iodine-based product effectively inactivated FCV whereas the quaternary ammonium product, detergent and ethanol failed to completely inactivate the virus. The stability of FCV in suspension and in a dried state was assessed after exposure to 4 degrees C, room temperature (20 degrees C) and 37 degrees C. With increasing temperature, the stability of FCV was found to diminish both in suspension and in the dried state. FCV in the dried state did not survive for one day at 37 degrees C. This study provides a basis for establishing guidelines for disinfection protocols to decrease the spread of NVLPs in a community setting.