To Battle Covid, Airlines Bet on Disinfectants That Come With Questions

Make no mistake—killing the virus that has killed a million people world-wide is the priority. But scientists say long-term effects of one chemical used by several airlines, including the three biggest U.S. carriers, aren’t well known, and multiple applications of it each day hasn’t been studied. The chemical is a quaternary ammonium compound. QACs, or quats, have been linked to lung damage and asthma.

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Delta Air Lines worker Chuck Gould uses an electrostatic sprayer to disinfect a Boeing 757-232 at Gate 71 of the Orlando International Airport.

The “electrostatic” treatment, along with high-volume, high-efficiency air filtration systems are used widely by airlines.

The worker’s backpack pump made a purring sound and its hose nozzle hissed as it ejected a liquid disinfectant formulated to be non-corrosive for aircraft and electrically charged to cling to whatever it touches.

Back To School 2020: Part Three

“We’ve got the seats marked, right now we’re only allowed to carry 12 students, we’ve got the seats staggered,” said Bernard Johnson, the transportation technician/school bus driver and trainer for SCPS.

After every ride, SCPS has invested in electrostatic sprayers to be used to sanitize the whole bus. As well as additional sprayers to go inside of each school.

Delta gives behind-the-scenes look at COVID-19 cleaning procedures

Delta Air Lines showed FOX 35 some of the changes it's made for passenger safety during the pandemic.

From Plexiglass at the counters to enhanced cleaning on the planes, Delta airlines gave us a behind-the-scenes look at the changes it’s made at Orlando International Airport.

Kroll explained that “the cleaning team is committed to disinfecting all high touchpoints. We spray the aircraft with what’s called electrostatic spray, which is a high-grade disinfectant.”

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For the disinfecting, custodial staff will be using EPA-rate virucides as general cleaners. After school hours, the custodial staff will also use electrostatic sprayers on surfaces including desk and countertops, doorknobs, keyboards and faucet handles. The electrostatic charge of the sprayers is touted as “allowing the droplets to attract to surfaces rather than float in the air,” according to their manufacturer, EvaClean.

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Hoteliers say hope is on the horizon and newly implemented procedures and technologies are helping them better protect their people and meet guests’ demands.

"To attract tomorrow's travelers, cleanliness and 'contactless-ness' go hand in hand," Reed said. "Several hotel companies are leveraging cleaning technologies and electrostatic sprayers to sanitize and disinfect surfaces.

Klein ISD revamps bus cleaning policies during COVID-19 pandemic

The school year kicks off for Klein Independent School District Tuesday morning, and a question on parents’ minds, how safe are the buses in the middle of a pandemic?

Josh Rice, Director of Transportation Services for Klein ISD, is charged with the task of keeping buses safe and clean.  “In my 20 years of being in the transportation industry I feel like the buses are cleaner than they’ve ever been,” said Rice.

What it looks like to disinfect East Providence schools during a global pandemic

As school districts prepare to reopen, East Providence is putting to use a disinfecting tool it's had for years to keep surfaces clean: an electrostatic sprayer.

"You can spray it on a desk and not only does it hit the top of the desk, it wraps itself around," Director of Facilities and Security Anthony Feola said. "You can walk up and down and all the hard surfaces will be sprayed."

An arsenal of cleaning supplies used in fight to protect against COVID-19

Acme Paper & Supply Co., Inc. vice-president Andy Attman not only provides schools with products needed for cleaning but guidance on best practices to keep students and staff safe.

 “We supply a full range of products, disinfectants to protectants. A disinfectant highly that we use is the Protexis sprayer with PurTabs. It’s a chemical sprayer combination,” Attman said.

According to the EvaClean website, the company claims its Protexis electrostatic sprayer can reach up to three times more surfaces in the same time it would take to use buckets, rags, and wipes.

Air travel slowly recovers during pandemic amid efforts to sanitize, social distance

“Now we’re boarding from the back of the aircraft to the front of the aircraft to minimize touch-points, and, for now, no one sits in the middle seat,” said Macagno, the managing director of Latin America, Caribbean and South Florida.

Macagno also said Delta Airlines is focusing on cleanliness from airport door to airline seat. To do so, planes are undergoing a “triple-layer cleaning” that involves electrostatic spray disinfection. The system turns disinfectant liquid into aerosols. A charge moves each droplet to surfaces.