The Science of A Safer Surface

Backed by Science to Eliminate Concerns

Current Concern

The novel coronavirus is a highly contagious pathogen that is easily transmitted between humans, resulting in the Covid-19 global pandemic.

Historically

The world has experienced multiple pandemics over the last 150 years. While presenting different levels of severity, geographic scope, and duration, they all offered significant human and economic impact on the affected areas.

Beyond Pandemics

The Threat of Transmission

The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread primarily from person to person mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can contact the eye and be inhaled through the mouths or noses of nearby people and possibly spread to the lungs. Initial studies indicate that the virus can stay airborne for several hours.

The CDC has acknowledged that “it may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.” The concern about surfaces lies in how long a pathogen can stay active on a surface. While the risk may reduce over time, this chart illustrates how long an older strain of the coronavirus can live on surfaces.
 
A Safer Surface is committed to managing these threats of transmission through both surface and air.

Surface Disinfection

Disinfectant Solutions

The novel coronavirus is a highly contagious pathogen that is easily transmitted between humans, resulting in the Covid-19 global pandemic. Many options are available to help disinfect the environment around you. Some of the common options are:

  • Store-bought disinfectants — up to 99.9% effective
  • Commercial disinfectants — typically between 99.9% to 99.999% effective

In many elements of life, 99.9% is FANTASTIC! Only 0.1% remains, but what does that really mean? What if you have one million contaminants on a surface (not unlikely considering each person is covered by hundreds of millions of bacteria and viruses)?

  • A normal soap removes 90% of bacteria and viruses, so 1,000,000 is only down to 100,000!
  • A store-bought cleaner at 99.9% leaves behind 1,000 bacteria and viruses. Better, but still a threat.
  • A normal soap removes 90% of bacteria and viruses, so 1,000,000 is only brought down to 100,000!

Your Choice of Disinfectant is Critical

Consider the following elements when choosing how you disinfect:
  1. Is it registered with the EPA as effective against SARS-CoV-2? Check EPA List N.
  2. What is the kill %? The higher the %, the lower the threat.
  3. Look for low toxicity. A disinfectant does not have to be toxic and/or dangerous to be effective.
  4. Find disinfectants that have either low or no environmental impact, primarily VOCs
  5. Disinfectants work via two methods of action: chemical and physical.  
    • CHEMICAL — A chemical reaction takes place between the antimicrobial compound and the microorganism.  
      1. Compound sacrifices a part of itself in the process (limited residual effect)
      2. Can promote adaptive microorganism resistance (superbugs)
      3. The compound breaks down and leaches into the environment

         

    • PHYSICAL — A physical interaction takes place between the antimicrobial compound and the microorganism.  
      1. Cell wall/membrane of microorganism is ruptured by physical contact
      2. The compound is not compromised as it’s non-sacrificial (maintaining a residual effect)
      3. No superbugs
      4. The compound does not break down during the process; no leaching takes place, therefore the impact on the environment is very limited.
Not all disinfectants kill all threats! Make sure your choice of disinfectant addresses as broad a spectrum of pathogens as possible for optimal, safe disinfection.

Application

The best disinfectant in the world will not be fully effective if you do not apply it properly. A quick spray and wipe will not work. Let’s talk about dwell time.

Dwell time is the amount of time specified by the manufacturer that is required for the disinfectant to maintain contact with pathogens in order to disinfect according to its EPA certification. 
While different pathogens have varying amounts of dwell time necessary to be killed by a disinfectant, it rarely is enough dwell time when you wipe the disinfectant off right after you have sprayed it.

Proper coverage represents getting the surface sufficiently covered in disinfectant to enable the appropriate dwell time. Some possible ways to apply the disinfectant are:

  • Spray and wait — Whether using a bottle or a pump sprayer, spray and wait for the time specified for your disinfectant.  
  • Fogger — Use a specialized fogger that mists the disinfectant onto a surface.
  • Electrostatic sprayer — This is a specialized device for water-based solutions that reduce the disinfectant into very small atomized particles and applies an electric charge to each particle. 

Are These Options Effective for Disinfecting?

  • Hand and pump sprayers are not fully effective.
    • Can puddle the disinfectant causing incomplete surface coverage. (See illustration below.)
    • Puddling and running will require wiping that negatively impacts dwell time.
    • Reduced coverage of disinfectant into crevices and hard-to-reach spots.
  • Foggers are better.
    • The fogging approach applies a coat that will not run.
    • The applied coat, however, can be too thin (between 1-15 microns), so disinfectant can dry before achieving necessary dwell time.
    • May not cover indirect or harder-to-reach surfaces completely.
  • Electrostatic sprayers are best.
    • Adjustable, right-sized atomic particles provide sufficient coverage to enable appropriate dwell time.
    • Electric charge adds magnetic properties to the disinfectant to both increase attraction to the targeted surface and cause the particles to uniformly cover the surface. (See illustration below.)

Due to the particles possessing magnetic properties, the spray can literally wrap around items to seek out untreated surfaces and crevices. (Watch in action.)

    • The charged particle bonds more firmly to the surface, enabling an optimal residual effect.
It’s not just what is applied but how it’s applied that matters most.

Air Purification

Concerns

As shared above, the CDC reports that disease-producing airborne pathogens can remain viable in the air for several hours. These pathogens can emanate from coughs, sneezes, or simply breathing and speaking. This is currently considered the primary method of transmission today.

air asset
Options

Many people are leveraging HEPA filters to help filter the air and reduce the risk. While HEPA filters help, be cognizant of some limits and concerns:

  1. Not all HEPA filters are equal. The average size of a novel coronavirus particle is ~0.125 microns. If a HEPA filter can filter only down to 0.3 microns, that HEPA will be ineffective against this threat.
  2. HEPA filters are more reactive than proactive. Once the air has gone through the HEPA filter, the threat may be reduced, but the threat is quickly replenished by breathing, sneezing, coughing, or simply speaking. HEPA filters can help, but keep your masks on and be vigilant.
  3. The more effective HEPA filters offer higher rates of air recirculation. Higher air recirculation means that the air is being exchanged and thus filtered more frequently to help reduce the associated risk.

Additional air cleaning options are ozone-producing air cleaners. Ozone air cleaners may be effective but aren’t the safest option.

“State bans home ozone air purifiers. The California Air Resources Board...banned popular in-home ozone air purifiers, saying studies have found that they can worsen conditions such as asthma that marketers claim they help to prevent.”

Fortunately, there are better options.

There are advanced devices that provide better-than-HEPA filtration with proprietary ActivePure® Technology, which is based on technology originally developed by NASA researchers for use on the International Space Station to capture 99.97% of particles as small as 0.1 microns. ActivePure® has been university tested and proven effective on various contaminants in the air and on surfaces. It is no longer necessary to wait for the pathogens to solely cycle through the purifier to get the maximum effect. These ions can help address threats in the air and maintain disinfected surfaces. A Safer Surface is proud to be able to offer these advanced solutions.