Don’t Let Pathogens Hitchhike

SurfaceSoap UV Wand disinfecting window buttons inside a car

Better rideshare experiences are just beneath the SurfaceSoap

Everyone has a system of checks and balances to mitigate risk in their everyday lives. Drivers check their vehicles at the start of each day with a plan that ensures passenger safety. When it comes to being picked up in an Uber or Lyft, you check the license plate and driver photo to ensure the app matches reality. It is second nature to hop in the back seat if both match. And while you may think you and the driver are the only occupants of the car, you’re not alone.

What the Research Shows

Uber, the publicly traded company that shook up the taxi industry back in 2009, has inspired millions of Americans to embrace ridesharing apps and culture. Sharing is caring, but not in terms of pathogen transmission. The health and safety risks of backseat riding are becoming more apparent. Experts say that riding in the back seat of a ridesharing vehicle is 35,000 times germier than a toilet seat and potentially more dangerous than sitting in the passenger seat. Concerns about rideshare sanitation and the dangers of sitting in the back seat should give you pause the next time your ride rolls up to the curb.

We know from extensive research that viruses can survive on surfaces/objects for hours or even days. During peak transmission season or colder months of the year, people who carry varying amounts of viral loads in their upper respiratory tracts can shed these onto surfaces. This study[1] is just focusing on SARS-CoV-2; other viruses and fungus can also develop on surfaces where they’ll remain for various amounts of time. “Our results indicate that aerosol and fomite transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is plausible since the virus can remain viable and infectious in aerosols for hours and on surfaces up to days (depending on the inoculum shed).”

Another study[2] conducted in Portugal found: “In summary, public buses in major cities in Portugal (Lisbon and Oporto) are a reservoir of HA- and CA-MRSA clones and may represent a mechanism for the spread of MRSA clones in the community. Given the importance of public transportation in most major cities, the results presented here should provide valuable insights to epidemiologists, infection control, and environmental health professionals to better understand the dynamics of MRSA in the community.” This goes to show that we need to approach vehicle cabin disinfection meticulously, acknowledging the vast diversity of bacteria. And all routes of transmission. We’re a broken record when we say, “one size does not fit all.” Still, time and time again, this age-old adage rings true.

In the rideshare industry, thousands of independent drivers constantly pick up passengers from who knows where. Both parties have a significant concern about who was in the vehicle before them or getting into their car now. Is it safe to touch anything in the car? Is the air safe to breathe? It’s known that most germs on rideshare vehicles are on the door handles, window buttons, and seat belts. Germs can arrive at these high-touch locations in numerous ways; through air droplets from sneezing or coughing, wiping a nose then touching a door, transferring germs from the mobile device you’re scrolling on to the window button, and so on. Cross-contamination in confined spaces can happen quickly, so our rideshare sanitation efforts need to work equally fast.

Enhance Your RideShare Business the Safe Way

SurfaceSoap For RideShare

All good host drivers do the basic things like shaking out the mats at the beginning of every day, getting their car washed once a week, vacuuming, providing treats, and replacing air fresheners. Our society has become more aware of viral transmission since the onset of the pandemic. What will separate the ‘good’ drivers from the ‘best’ will be taking into account the germs that enter the vehicle with each rider.

New UV-C technology like Safety Net’s SurfaceSoap UV Wand is now available. Drivers can quickly and safely disinfect their vehicles in minutes, radically knocking down the bio-load on high-touch points within their car before the next passenger enters. This added security measure will help the rider feel better. Imagine their face when the vehicle they hailed pulls up with a sticker that states, “This vehicle receives disinfection between rides by Safety Net’s UV-C Disinfection Wand.” Passengers and drivers are rewarded with peace of mind knowing that viral loads within the vehicle cabin are minimum.

SurfaceSoap UV Sanitizing wand is a lightweight, portable, and wireless handheld sanitizer that can effectively disinfect any non-porous surface, killing 99.9% of bacteria and viruses in seconds. Employing high-intensity UV-C light, a short wavelength light used for decades in various disinfection applications, SurfaceSoap UV makes it easy to neutralize potential pathogens in any environment. An independent lab has rigorously tested SurfaceSoap UV to show that it removes over 99.9% of E. coli, Staphylococcus, Salmonella, and Coronavirus-OC43 (a proxy virus for SARS CoV-2).

With one-touch activation, a USB rechargeable battery, and 30 minutes of uninterrupted use per charge, this powerful wand by PhoneSoap is an ideal tool at home, work, or during travel. It’s suitable for disinfecting various surfaces and better than the traditional chemical-based products that emit fumes, leave residues, and can be abrasive on some surfaces. Have you been combatting viral transmission in your vehicle with Clorox Wipes? If so, you’re potentially destroying your car’s interior. As a driver running a rideshare business, the SurfaceSoap UV Wand is a no-brainer. The UV wand affords you a non-corrosive option that helps protect our environment through wipe waste reduction.

Surpassing other wands on the market, SurfaceSoap UV delivers over 100 mJ/cm2 of UV-C irradiance output in under 5 seconds—enough to kill up to 99.9% of microbes tested. Typical sanitizing wands cost less but deliver less than 1% of the UV-C output produced by the SurfaceSoap UV and require several hours of contact time to match its efficacy. If you recall, in our article “UV Light Kills Bacteria – The Science of UV Disinfection,” these claims of exposure time and kill time are of critical importance.

First Responder Applications

SurfaceSoap UV Wand can be integrated seamlessly into any transport business that picks up multiple passengers per day. Outside of rideshare, drivers disinfecting vehicle cabins should become a mainstream practice, especially for transport businesses where riders are involuntarily tagging along, like in ambulances or police cars. The diversity of passengers and bacteria entering and exiting these small, confined environments needs addressing.

Ambulance cabin with open doors

“Both infected patients and ambulance personnel are potential sources of surface contamination in ambulances, which may result in the exposure of patients and ambulance personnel to pathogens during subsequent transportation. Adherence to cleaning protocols and using aseptic techniques can reduce the risk of exposure. However, routine cleaning and aseptic techniques are not always observed in the ambulance setting. The fast-paced environment, quick turnover of emergency calls, and compliance with cleaning protocols pose a challenge in maintaining non-contaminated conditions for EMS providers and patients.”[3]

Today, we know that there are fewer first responders than before, so we need to evolve disinfection strategies with the landscape. Utilizing technologies like the SurfaceSoap UV wand aid first responders in so many ways. Reducing the burden of disinfection on staff, allowing them to relax in their ‘downtime’ instead of monotonously spraying and wiping equipment (would you wait the recommended dwell time before wiping if you were them?). As stated above, time is minimal, and the turnover rate is high, so our recommended solutions need to be flexible and practical. You can’t put a price on a solution’s ability to seamlessly amalgamate itself into workflow operations, which is what makes the SurfaceSoap invaluable.

One study[4] found that “In an air ambulance helicopter, surface materials are heterogeneous (metal, plastic, and others) and by design often difficult to clean. Due to airworthiness regulations and material degradation, not all chemical disinfectants can be used. A mobile, nonchemical device would therefore be a valuable alternative for targeted surface disinfection.”

Police also need to take a moment to think about the backseat of their cop car. How often are they disinfected? Is there a set-in-stone policy on methods of disinfection? How many rides occur before disinfection begins? These are all dire questions that need consideration. That being said, if there is more significant bio-waste (i.e., feces, vomit, blood) present in the backseat, outsourcing the job to a professional disinfection company like Safety Net Bio-Protection would be the best course of action.

However, the SurfaceSoap provides a unique opportunity to officers who pick up multiple people per day but don’t encounter the extremes. Drop a passenger off at the county jail, quickly use SurfaceSoap to clean up the cruiser’s backseat, and go about cleaning up our streets! It affords cops a tool to quickly reduce and eliminate the threat of pathogens hitching a ride home without additional strain to their already heavy workload.

So, first responders, make sure to rapidly disinfect the nooks and crannies of your vehicles with the savvy, flexible, and powerful SurfaceSoap UV Wand.

Rethink RideShare

Cellphones displaying Uber and Lyft screens
Uber – Lyft

Uber’s company slogan is, “Evolve the way the World Moves,” and Lyft’s is “Improving people’s lives with the world’s best transportation.” If these companies are to live up to these statements, rethinking this particular part of the system is necessary. Rideshare companies can help steer the industry towards a more sanitized future by supplying VIP drivers (drivers who receive a certain number of 5-star reviews) with UV wands and providing incentives for publicly displaying messages of sanitation. Or if a driver achieves x amount of 5-star reviews with a “Neat & Tidy” compliment, reward them with a SurfaceSoap to aid them in their efforts.

If rideshare companies are to evolve the way we move fully, they must additionally consider a microbe’s ability to adapt, and most importantly it’s will to replicate and survive. Recognizing modern transmission pathways is paramount for any business owner offering public services. Knowing what we know about viral shedding, air circulation within confined chambers, and virus survival rates on surfaces, we need to act today as to not be caught off-guard tomorrow.

This philosophy needs to trickle down from the top. One way to do this is for rideshare companies to purchase UV wands in bulk then provide the SurfaceSoap to drivers at a hyper-competitive price. This will encourage drivers to purchase a wand through the rideshare company and in place of wipes or useless corrosive spray solutions which provide less efficacy and require more time to kill than the SurfaceSoap. Creating a new small stream of revenue for the host companies. Drivers can be reassured, when finishing up the day of work, that they possess a viable, highly effective solution to protect themselves and their families from the bacteria brought into the car by passengers.

Control What You Can

As a passenger, take care of your end of the deal first. Mitigate your risk of exposure/transmission by being intelligent and organized with your approach to hitching a rideshare. Although companies like Uber and Lyft have attempted to address this concern by implementing mask mandates for passengers/drivers, this is not sufficient nor comprehensive enough. Too many gaps expose themselves with “single-solution” mandates. Viruses do not care if one route is closed. Just like our drivers, they’ll find a detour.

Traveler riding in airplane with SurfaceSoap UV wand handy
Traveler with SurfaceSoap

You should have a system to attenuate your risk of picking up any infection from the rider in front of you. We also want to “pay it forward” regarding limiting our viral shedding. Wearing a mask is definitely a good idea (specifically a fitted N95), and cracking the window allows for better air circulation[5]. Having a pocket-sized hand sanitizer that you can use at the beginning and end of your ride will ensure that you do not spread germs to high-touch points. Using hand sanitizers like mPulse is alcohol-free and non-corrosive to the driver’s car. Avoid touching your face for the duration of the ride and only do so after you’ve washed your hands thoroughly. To reduce it down to 4 components:

  1. Wear a mask or face shield
  2. Have on-the-go sanitizer options
  3. Don’t touch your face (the T-Zone)
  4. Wash hands after the ride

These are all simple, cost-effective actions you can take as a traveler to reduce the potential of becoming infected by any virus. Traveling smarter and safer should become normalized if we mass-adopt ride share culture.

Driver Ratings

Rideshare companies encourage riders to rate their rides and comment on cleanliness, yet there is no section for health and safety factors. The choices that are available to compliment a driver are displayed below.

RideShare compliment options
RideShare Compliment Options

Much like we would demand a public restroom to be disinfected, riders need to place a precedent on rideshare sanitation. Neat and Tidy is excellent, but proof-of-sanitation would be more significant.

As a driver, take safety measures within your rideshare environment to the next level with the SurfaceSoap UV Wand. Taking a few minutes between rides to disinfect every area of the backseat and high touchpoints quickly will ultimately lead to your customer base feeling safer and, in the long run, encourage them to ride with you more.

Why not take 2-3 minutes between riders to disinfect high-touch points? What’s the harm in having hand sanitizer available, having a small box of disposable masks at the ready, or simply cracking the windows prematurely? There is no downside to having the same (in some cases better) disinfection protocols than ambulances. These gestures are more than thoughtful; they instill a culture of mutual respect and caring that is synonymous with the rideshare community mindset.

“Look, we want you to express yourself, okay? Now, if you feel that the bare minimum is enough, then okay.”

Office Space – 1999

Don’t let the bare minimum define your business as a rideshare driver. Put the health and safety of your passengers at the top of the “to-do list,” excel at rideshare sanitation, and exceed customer expectations.

About the Author

Robert Hasselfeld is SEO manager for Safety Net.


[1] van Doremalen, N., Bushmaker, T., Morris, D. H., Holbrook, M. G., Gamble, A., Williamson, B. N., Tamin, A., Harcourt, J. L., Thornburg, N. J., Gerber, S. I., Lloyd-Smith, J. O., de Wit, E., & Munster, V. J. (2020). Aerosol and surface stability of SARS-COV-2 as compared with SARS-COV-1. New England Journal of Medicine, 382(16), 1564–1567.

[2] Conceição, Teresa, et al. “Contamination of Public Buses with MRSA in Lisbon, Portugal: A Possible Transmission Route of Major MRSA Clones within the Community.” PLoS ONE, edited by Paul J. Planet, no. 11, Public Library of Science (PLoS), Nov. 2013, p. e77812. Crossref, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0077812.

[3] Obenza, A., Cruz, P., Buttner, M., & Woodard, D. (2022). Microbial contamination on ambulance surfaces: a systematic literature review. Journal of Hospital Infection, 44–59.

[4] Schulz-Stübner, S., Kosa, R., Henker, J., Mattner, F., & Friedrich, A. (2019). Is UV-C “light wand” mobile disinfection in air ambulance helicopters effective? Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, 11, 1323–1326.

[5] Mathai, V., Das, A., Bailey, J. A., & Breuer, K. (2021). Airflows inside passenger cars and implications for airborne disease transmission. Science Advances, 1.

UV Light Kills Bacteria

The Science of UV Disinfection

UV light kills bacteria, but not all UV light is equal in doing so. Like hand sanitizers in a post-pandemic world, the UV market is chock-full of improperly designed and marketed devices claiming to “completely eradicate pathogens.” To the untrained eye, this seems fantastic and straightforward. However, numerous variables determine how effective the device is at disinfecting its target object or surface.

UV lamps, boxes, robots, air purification systems, and wands are just a few devices that engulfed the market post-onset of the pandemic. But what exactly is UV, are there different forms and functions of UV, how does UV light kill bacteria, and how do the other technologies claiming to eradicate viruses with UV do so? Let’s deep dive!

Defining the Electromagnetic Spectrum [EM]

Before defining what UV is, it’s critical to understand the electromagnetic (EM) spectrum. The EM spectrum is the full range of wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation (EMR), beginning at radio waves (longest wavelength) extending to gamma rays (shortest wavelength).

Light travels by oscillating waves at a constant speed. These waves carry energy, and their interaction with objects varies based on the type of energy these waves have. Refer to the graphic above to see the full EM and the varying wavelengths. We humans cannot fully perceive the entire spectrum of EM waves, but we utilize some of these wavelengths in our everyday lives regardless of perception or not. Most, if not all, of these wavelengths, do not harm us despite the ominous keyword “radiation.”

We’re going to take a deeper look at one specific section of wavelengths on the EM spectrum that is becoming a booming industry with many functions, UV radiation (light).

Types of UV Radiation

Like everything on the EM spectrum, UV radiation can break down into different types based upon their respective wavelengths (or the distance between peaks in a series of waves). The most common UV radiation comes from our sun. The types of UV rays are classified as follows:

  • UV-A – [315 and 400 nanometers] these rays have the longest wavelength and are generally transmitted naturally through the atmosphere.
  • UV-B – [280 and 315 nanometers] these rays have a shorter wavelength than UV-A, and some transmit through our atmosphere. However, some do get absorbed by the Ozone layer, and these rays are the most harmful component of natural sunlight.
  • UV-C. – [200 and 280 nanometers] these rays have the shortest wavelength and carry the highest amounts of energy out of the UV radiation spectrum. Luckily for us, our Ozone layer absorbs all these rays.
  • UV-V – [100 and 200 nanometers] this portion of UV rays can only transmit in a vacuum; hence the “V” is strongly absorbed by water and air.

Since we now know the different forms of UV radiation and their respective wavelengths, let’s explore which wavelength is best for disinfection and why.

UV-C, A Germ’s Worst Enemy

UV-C is popping up everywhere in the infection control industry, and you may be wondering why. Thinking back to just a few sentences ago, we talked about the different wavelengths of UV radiation and which ones were transmitted through our atmosphere vs. entirely absorbed by the Ozone layer.

Because UV-A and UV-B are both in our atmosphere, life forms have had an opportunity to adapt to these rays and are resistant to their disruptive effects on DNA and RNA. While UV-B does have harmful properties, it cannot kill microorganisms effectively. Smaller wavelengths can only penetrate microbe cell structures. A microbe’s primary purpose is to survive and replicate; UV-C disrupts the part of their DNA & RNA associated with their replication and protein expression processes necessary for survival.

Measurement, The Bunsen-Roscoe Law, & Newton’s Inverse Square Law

You probably know what a ‘watt’ is from your monthly energy bill, but you’re probably not as familiar with the term ‘joules,’ a metric measurement term. We’ll go ahead and define these terms for the sake of understanding fully.

  • Watt(W) – a measure of the rate of energy delivery
  • Joule(J) – a cumulative measure of the total amount of energy delivered

Measuring UV usually takes place in smaller increments; you’ll commonly see figures displayed in the thousandths of a J or W (1/1,000). These more miniature figures are called ‘milli-Joules’ and ‘milli-Watts’ and shown as ‘mJ’ or ‘mW.’ These are often associated with how much time is required to deliver the energy. 1 Joule of energy delivered is equivalent to 1 Watt of power produced for 1 second.

When it comes to administering UV-C light to eradicate pathogens, a fundamental principle of photochemistry states that the effect of light energy on a biological system is directly related to the total energy delivered, irrespective of its administration. It is known as the Bunsen-Roscoe Law and determines how much UV-C we need to bombard our target.

In addition to this Law, we need to keep Newton’s Inverse Square Law in mind. This Law means that if you double the distance between subject and light source, it illuminates a surface area four times greater than before. A larger surface area will lead to a light intensity that is inversely proportional to the square of the distance, which means we’ll see a decrease in light intensity.

Extrapolate both Laws to the realm of UV disinfection, and you’ll see that both exposure time and distance from the light source are critical components for how UV light kills bacteria.

Robots, Lamps, Boxes, and Wands….Oh My!

Bacteria, like people, is full of diversity which means that the inactivation rate varies depending on what bacteria or pathogens you’re targeting with UV-C disinfection. Since the pandemic, we’ve seen many different UV-C technologies hit the healthcare markets, travel industry, business sectors, and more. Looking at the various technologies, we’re going to analyze the pros and cons of each and determine what the best disinfection application of UV-C is.

Let’s start with UV Robots, most commonly found in operating rooms and airplanes. Hands-off UV-C disinfection is ideal since the radiation can harm humans vulnerable to its effects, and the broad application of modern robotics is incredible. Still, there are some disadvantages to this technology—one being shadowing. In particular, let’s look at airplanes using the robot pictured below as the benchmark for UV-C robotic disinfection.

This robot, in particular, has an optimized design for airlines but let’s look a little closer. Using what we know about Bunsen-Roscoe Law and Newton’s Inverse Square Law, we see that the robot will not disinfect the window seats to the same degree as the aisle seats. Another high-touch point that is getting less exposure is the windows. Do we know what the exposure time is? Is that listed anywhere? I’ve looked and can’t seem to find cycle times listed anywhere.

While this is a good solution, if we aim to achieve higher levels of disinfection, electrostatic sprayers provide a better solution and achieve 360-degree coverage on all surfaces without pesky residue. This particular robot claims 99% efficacy against COVID-19.

A field study conducted in May of 2021 of a different UV-C robot used in hospitals found that “presently, the UV-C robot tested in this study is not ready to be integrated into the environmental cleaning and disinfection procedures in our hospital. The single standard disinfection UV-C irradiation cycle is not sufficient to inactivate pathogens with augmented environmental resilience, e.g., C. auris, particularly when microbial loads are high.” Marketing claims are critical, and we’ll dive into that Rabbit Hole in a follow-up article.

We are now moving onto UV-C lamps, a manual solution that doesn’t move independently. These technologies are more intuitive and hands-on. They afford you the autonomy to determine placement and cycle time so you can control the disinfection of your setting a bit more. However, we’ve opened the door for human error and incompetence.

If the staff member responsible for the placement of the lamp within a given setting is not aware of the two Laws above nor the energy output of the lamp or inactivation rates of viruses, the margin for error increases drastically. A UV-C light placed in the center of a hospital room will only disinfect the area equivalent to its power output, the further reaches of the space will remain untouched, and the bio-load will remain roughly the same.

What about UV boxes? In my opinion, this is my favorite application of UV-C disinfection because of its alignment with the Bunsen-Roscoe Law and Newton’s Inverse Square Law, there is no shadowing, and the distance from the target object is minimal. Refer to the video below to see just how dirty your phone is, and if you want to explore phone disinfection further, make sure to read our dissection of the Express Pro. The cons of UV boxes are apparent. They are high-touch item focus only, and they cannot disinfect surfaces within a given environment. Also, the durability of shelving inside these chambers varies depending on the manufacturer. I use a small disinfection chamber in my own home to disinfect my cell phone and other small items when I get home. It is an easy and effective measure to compliment my hand-washing.

This last item is for all you wannabe-wizards out there, UV wands. You can use these tools anywhere at any time. The flexibility of disinfection is up to your imagination. Another advantage of the wands is that you can control UV-C exposure time and distance on surfaces and objects. But that is also one of the most significant disadvantages and flaws of these particular tools. Knowledge of effective UV-C disinfection is not as widespread as it should be. For example, to use the wand effectively on surfaces, you need to know the bulb output and how long to hover over the target, which may take longer than you realize. With the best UV wand on the market, the SurfaceSoap, you need to hold the wand 1 to 2 inches from the surface while moving 3 inches per second. SurfaceSoap is the best wand on the market, with 10x the strength of competitor brands, so you can only imagine how much longer you need to hover over your target with one of these weaker tools. The best application of UV wands, in my opinion, is to use them on small objects and surfaces that are high-touch/high-risk points in your environment. To disinfect an entire room this way would be monotonous and borderline unintelligent, but unfortunately, it is not uncommon.

Now We See Why UV-C

In the great race to logically eradicate pathogens and harmful bacteria in the workplace, we need to examine the technology we are pursuing to guarantee maximum effectiveness. UV light kills bacteria, and now we know how it does so. The two Laws we spoke of limit the applications of UV disinfection, but knowing what we know now, we can accurately choose which product suits our disinfection needs best.

Don’t hesitate to ask companies who sell these technologies for safety data sheets, testing background, and use cases, and if they cannot supply you with answers, about-face, and head the other direction to someone who can. Safety Net has spent years putting together a highly vetted suite of products rooted in scientific evidence and tested by third-party labs and the FDA & EPA. We aim to educate you first and give you the tools needed to pick the best option for your environment. Every place is different; microbial colonies vary, but one thing is consistent: Safety Net will do everything in our power to reduce bio-loads and give you the utensils to succeed in controlling your environment. It’s now obvious how UV light kills bacteria, let’s get disinfecting!

About the Author

Robert Hasselfeld is SEO manager and an account manager for Safety Net.


Astrid, F., Beata, Z., Van den Nest Miriam et al. The use of a UV-C disinfection robot in the routine cleaning process: a field study in an Academic hospital. Antimicrob Resist Infect Control 10, 84 (2021).

Hand Sanitizing Should Be mPulsive

**Article Update: Since January 1, 2022 the FDA has removed their Temporary Policy for Manufacture of Alcohol for Incorporation into Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer Products During the Public Health Emergency(COVID-19) from their website. There are still plenty of dangerous sanitizers out there and limited ability from the FDA to fully crack down on this particular issue. So, read labels and try to wash your hands with soap & water more frequently in order to reduce the amount of sanitizer you put on your hands.**

Cross-contamination is a nuisance. Staying on top of hand cleanliness requires excellent timing and consistent methodology. More importantly, it requires a solid hand sanitizer rooted in scientific evidence to provide residual coverage. Unlike the alcohol-ridden, low-efficacy, brewery-made sanitizers of the post-pandemic world, Safety Net has a one-stop solution for all your hand sanitizing needs.

If you worked on the frontlines during the pandemic, no matter which industry you were in, you were exposed to a myriad of sanitizers. Bottles of all shapes and sizes loaded with varying percentages of alcohol were deployed to businesses around the globe without a second thought. Accompanying these bottles is a recommended regiment of how often to sanitizer our hands, which is unrealistic considering what we are putting on our hands.

Opening the Playing Field

The FDA has a rigorous approval process for sanitizers that was set aside during the pandemic. Hand sanitizer prepared according to these base-level guidelines contains 60% ethanol, 40% glycerol, and is spiked with different concentration of methanol and 1-propanol between 1-10%. During the pandemic, the FDA released a Temporary Policy for Manufacture of Alcohol for Incorporation into Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer Products During the Public Health Emergency(COVID-19). This policy allowed companies, who were initially not registered, to register with the FDA to begin producing alcohol-based sanitizers to meet demand.

In the document, it says: “Because of the public health emergency posed by COVID-19, the FDA does not intend to take action against alcohol production firms that manufacture alcohol(i.e., ethanol or ethyl alcohol) for use as the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) in alcohol-based hand sanitizers for consumer use and for use as health care personnel hand rubs for the duration of the public health emergency declared by the Secretary of HHS on January 31, 202, provided the following circumstances are present:

  1. To meet component quality requirements for hand sanitizer production, the alcohol manufactured as an API is not less than 94.9% ethanol by volume.
  2. Any water used to adjust the finished ethanol content in the alcohol API is sterile (e.g., by boiling, distillation, or other processes that result in water that meets the specifications for Purified Water USP). water is used as quickly as possible after it is rendered sterile or purified.”

The critical word to note here is the line that states, “The FDA does not intend to take action…

The temporary policy opened the playing field a staggering amount. According to an article on NPR states, “ExxonMobil’s shift to sanitizer comes as oil companies are squeezed by plummeting demand, a global oil glut and rock-bottom crude prices. Liquor companies made a similar pivot more than a month after shortages of hand sanitizer were first apparent. Bacardi shifted production at its rum distillery in Puerto Rico to make hand sanitizer; Anheuser Busch InBev repurposed its process for making non-alcoholic beer to create sanitizer to give away; and small craft distilleries around the country figured out how to make and package hand sanitizer, often donating it to their local communities.”

Hockey player Maxime Legace once said, “if it’s only about money, we are hopeless. If it’s about people, we are hopeful.” Many companies that had no business being in the hand sanitizer space decided to chase the money, albeit for a noble cause. It primarily served their pockets in the absence of customers and kept the lights on, which we absolutely cannot blame them for because we all were struggling to make ends meet during lockdowns while attempting to fill the supply chain for healthcare workers. However, this open border approach to hand sanitizer production has led to unintended consequences that we are only just beginning to discern.

Toxic to the Touch

Methanol, also known as methyl alcohol, is the simplest organic compound within the group alcohols. While there are many positive applications for methanol, if not utilized correctly can lead to serious health issues. Methanol toxicity is poisoning from methanol through ingestion. Some of the symptoms are poor coordination, decreased levels of consciousness, abdominal pain, vomiting, and nausea. Some of the long-term effects of methanol toxicity include blindness, kidney failure, and even death.

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers proliferated into the public sector throughout the pandemic with inadequate and toxic formulae, improper labeling, and occasionally weak solutions (low efficacy is another problem we’ll address later). A small study in the Clinical Toxicity Journal notes that the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center has “seen an increase of 124% in exposures to hand sanitizer. Of these cases, 28% involved methanol-contaminated hand sanitizer. Five of these patients died from methanol poisoning.” The study concludes that “exposure to these products which failed to meet regulatory standards, led to increased harm and death.”

Parallel to what was happening in Arizona was happening in Canada as well. Health Canada began issuing sanitizer recalls in mid-2020 for various reasons. Including contamination – contains unacceptable ingredients, unauthorized use of Technical Grade Ethanol – includes missing risk statements, unauthorized products or products containing active ingredients at concentrations lower than the amount required to be effective – ethanol content is less than needed, and faulty packaging or labeling – missing risk statements and wrong directions for use with children.

The FDA issued a recall on several hand sanitizers in the US even more recently due to concerns of carcinogens being in the formula. Forbes states, “So what were these impurities? Well, back on March 24, Valisure, a company that tests and checks the composition of different health-related products, announced that they had found benzene in samples from 44 hand sanitizer products. Some of these products were apparently from ArtNaturals. At the time, Valisure had also released a copy of a letter addressed to the FDA that requested ‘a recall of identified batches of hand sanitizer products on the basis that, due to contamination with a known human carcinogen and other restricted contaminants, these products are adulterated under Section 501 of the FDCA (21 USC & 351) and misbranded under Section 502 of the FDCA (21 USC & 352).’ The letter request that the FDA conduct further examinations and investigations of the products as well.”

These toxic sanitizers are a by-product of a populous in a state of panic. Now that the dust has settled and we can observe the havoc wrecked by “emergency use authorization” protocols, it’s time to put down these poor and dangerous sanitizers and utilize solutions that were around pre-pandemic. Sanitizer that was designed with the healthcare workers’ hands in mind and the underlying threat of antimicrobial resistance at the forefront of defense strategy.

Bye Bye Benzene and Alcohol

If we were to tell you that you’d be sanitizing your hands with cancer-producing chemicals during a pandemic, you’d think we were crazy. However, that’s precisely what happened. We took a gunshot wound and placed a Band-Aid over it during COVID, but as it happens, we set a cancerous Band-Aid on the injury.

If you recall our article, A Modern-Era Antimicrobial, you’ll remember the residual power of Penetrexx in addition to it’s revolutionary approach at killing pathogens and bacteria. mPulse hand sanitizer is a one-of-a-kind hand sanitizing solution. Formulated by leading doctors and scientists with extensive testing completed at significant universities and microbiological laboratories, mPulse achieves more than your distillery-made sanitizer. mPulse is produced by the same company that makes the amazingly durable Penetrexx, so it harbors much of the same science and residual protection properties.

The best part about this sanitizer is the fact that it is alcohol-free! It won’t damage the skin on your hands, and it has a luxurious feel when dispensed. Let’s deep dive into this great sanitizer, and you’ll see why there is no comparison between alcohol-based sanitizers and mPulse.

Luxury You Can Feel

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a hand sanitizer out there that was alcohol-free, moisturizing to the skin, hypoallergenic, and afforded residual protection, so you don’t need to sanitize as often? Oh wait, there is!

mPulse is a revolutionary formula with advanced antimicrobial technology proven to extend germ-fighting protection between hand washings. This means that at the start of your shift, you can use mPulse once, which gives you up to 4 hours of protection. The fact that it doesn’t come off between hand washings allows you to sanitize less and improve the effectiveness of your hand washing protocols.

The efficacy of mPulse is what separates it from the competition. You’ll kill 99.99% of germs on contact with this sanitizer, without alcohol as the API. Independent laboratory studies have shown that the active ingredient in mPulse, an antimicrobial molecule developed and patented in the 1970’s by Dow Corning, to kill MRSA, Staph, VRE, CRE, C. difficile (vegetative state), E. coli, Salmonella, Streptococcus, and many more viruses and bacteria.

This patented molecule (fig. 1) is formulated first with a Silane Base which allows the molecule to bond with a target substrate. Next a Propyl group is added to connect the Silane to a positively charged Nitrogen atom. The molecule is topped with a chain of 18 carbons surrounded by a field of protons which acts to pierce the microbe and begin it’s destruction. This formulation allows for the active molecule to remain in suspension for greater time frames and delivering even dispersion upon application.

Figure 1.

mPulse is the polar opposite of alcohol-based sanitizers in every way possible. In addition to efficacy, mPulse is excellent for all public spaces and food handling. mPulse will protect against dirt, oil, and grease build-up on the hands. You can sanitize right before you serve since the sanitizer is food safe in addition to keeping grease and oil off of your paws. With this drastic reduction in the use of sanitizer, your skin will crack less and won’t strip the natural oils away. Refer to the competition sheet in figure 2 to see a visual breakdown of where mPulse excels.

Figure 2.

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are flammable, whereas mPulse utilizes a non-flammable formula making it safe for schools, daycares, nursing homes, hospitals, food service industries, health clubs, athletic facilities, transportation/travel industries, and homes. Alcohol-based sanitizers are banned from most of these facilities due to flammability. However, you’ll see that these facilities still harbor flammable sanitizers either unknowingly or without care.

The length of effectiveness is singlehandedly the most critical piece of information to understand. mPulse is going to protect you for greater than 4 hours when used multiple times per day. mPulse contrasts with alcohol-based sanitizers that only afford protection between 10 seconds at the low end spectrum and 15 minutes on the high-end range. So, mPulse is clearly in a class of its own.

Reduce the Bio-Load on High-Touch Points

The most intelligent and straightforward application of mPulse is to have it dispensed at the front door and available to anyone who walks into your environment as part of your “front door policy.” Those who enter your domain will be encouraged to use mPulse because of its luxurious feel on the hands. We know that hands are a prime source for cross-contamination, and simply using mPulse as you walk in the front door will automatically help reduce the bio-load on everything touched after that point. Your employees will be happier not having to destroy their skin with inconsistent and stinky sanitizers riddled with alcohol while also reducing the overall number of times they need to apply sanitizer.

An innovative solution is a simple solution and one that does not compound or create more problems. mPulse is revolutionary because it changes the game with what we can imagine hand sanitizers being composed of and how they’re deployed into the field.

In principle, we want to sanitize less while regularly washing our hands iwth soap and water. No more cracks on the knuckles stinging under the hot water and soap, no more using carcinogens to protect oneself, and no weak efficacy! mPulse makes hand washing enjoyable again while giving you necessary protection without a catch (like cancer).

Contact Safety Net for more information and price quotes on mPulse. Let’s make hand sanitizing smart and mPulsive.

About the Author

Robert Hasselfeld is SEO manager and an account manager for Safety Net.

COVID-19 Testing, Tracking, and The Transmission Paradox

The past two years of uncertainty are behind us. We’re finally beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We can get back into the classroom or office through vaccine distribution, frequent testing, implementing better social practices concerning hygiene, and having more treatments readily available. It appears as if we’re finally rounding 3rd base and heading to home plate with COVID-19 (the variants are another story). But as we sprint to the finish, aiming to replenish a sense of “normal” within our community, we need to pause for a moment and make sure we’re not missing anything…I have a funny feeling that we are.

Available COVID-19 Tests and Tracking

Let’s look at some of the more “popular” test kits, their procedures for tracking, and see if we can’t find a loophole within the process of which a microbe could take advantage.

  1. Cue’s COVID-19 Diagnostic Test: “Cue’s molecular COVID-19 test combines fast results and ease of use with the accuracy of central lab technology, all in one device that fits in the palm of your hand.” This testing kit is excellent and one of the least invasive and most straightforward procedures for procuring a sample. However, this testing process requires you to install an app onto your phone where you’ll manage your profile and view your test results. In terms of scaling your testing procedures, as a business, Cue allows you to connect 6 Cue Readers to one mobile smart device where Cue’s API integrates with existing systems, which help with data management. The best part about Cue’s Diagnostic Test is that it is FREE for schools. So, if you want to conduct minimally invasive testing on suspected COVID-19 cases, you can do so for free. Safety Net can help you get supplied with testing kits as needed, so don’t hesitate to contact us.
  2. Pixel by Labcorp: Another great testing option for employers to adopt if necessary and a great at-home test option. Pixel is a bit different from Cues because they deliver it to you, and you must ship your sample back to the lab. It generally takes 1-2 days for your results to arrive on your phone’s app.
  3. Abbott’s COVID-19 BinaxNOW Antigen Test: This is a rapid and highly portable tool to detect active coronavirus infections on a massive scale. Any facility owner can implement it in business or at home and everywhere in between. Contrary to the two above, this test doesn’t require a mobile or electronic device to record results. Instead, it uses proven lateral flow technology to display results like a pregnancy test. However, Abbott does offer a free-of-charge phone app that tracks and communicates test results whenever asked by organizations where people gather. This tool is excellent due to its ease of use and scalability within the workplace, and it’s very affordable.
  4. Everlywell’s COVID-19 Test: According to, Everlywell’s COVID testing kit is the highest-rated testing kit available primarily because it was one of the first FDA-approved kits. A simple 3-step process is all it takes to get your results—starting with ordering your desired test kit, which will arrive within 2-8 business days, depending on your preferred shipping method. The next step is to collect your sample using the provided nasal swab. Everlywell’s test is a more traditional swab and slightly more invasive than Cue Health. Once you’ve collected your test, you MUST drop your sample off the same day you take the test. Your test results will be sent to you digitally or by print within 24-48 hours. One of the perks of this test is that if you test positive for COVID-19, Everlywell will offer a free consultation with a telehealth consult which will help you with the next steps.

After reviewing a couple of the more popular testing options out there, did you happen to notice anything wrong with the above procedure descriptions? What do they all have in common? To the untrained eye, this all looks very acceptable and straightforward. To those who work in infectious disease control, we see a massive loophole that more advantageous and aggressive bacteria will exploit

The Transmission Paradox

Testing, testing, testing. Philosophically speaking, testing + tracking is a proactive approach to combatting viral transmission and understanding pathways while accruing complex data on how viruses spread. However, in the great race against COVID, we’ve let mixed messaging and abused/politicized data get in the way of logic, and this is where the transmission paradox reveals itself.

All the above COVID-19 tests require a mobile device, app, or electronic device of some sort to review the results. Mobile devices are a MAJOR loophole that savvy, adaptable viruses like COVID-19 can utilize. Hand hygiene and avoiding touching the “T-Zone” are two of the most critical components of infection prevention, and we know that. When administering these tests, you must touch your face; there’s no way around it. So, hand cleanliness needs to be at the forefront of our minds when designing testing stations for work and at home. But if these tests require us to utilize our devices to track the results, we need to consider the devices a tertiary threat of cross-contamination.

According to an article on The Conversation, “currently mobile phones are largely neglected from a biosecurity perspective, but they are likely to assist the spread of viruses such as influenza and SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic.”

It’s a fact that you touch your face to take these tests, and if you’re infected, you’ve now passed the infection to your hands. From there, everything you feel runs the risk of receiving a piece of that pesky COVID infection, especially your phone. Now that you’ve grabbed your phone to review the test results, you’ve just passed that virus back to the device. Say you hand your phone to show someone your results; they’ve now just had an encounter with the virus. You see where this is going.

For the Examiners

In the medical community, there’s a myriad of devices/tools used when a patient walks through the doors of the exam room. Even when conducting a simple COVID-19 test, doctors will make baseline observations of the subject’s health using a few devices. For example, if you were to have your heart rate monitored, a pulse oximeter device would be placed on the tip of your middle finger to gather a reading. What happens to this device after it’s touched the hand of the subject? Well, in most cases, it simply goes back into the pocket of whoever is taking observations. From there, what happens? Is it disinfected? Or does it go onto the finger of the next patient who has dropped in for testing?

Another critical piece to focus on is masks and face shields. Are the examiners in fitted N-95 masks plus face shields? If we are regularly testing, the examiners need to be intelligent about being exposed to pathogens. Utilizing surgical masks while administering testing is not ideal as a COVID-19 positive patient could easily transmit the virus to the tester. Then we’ve let the cat out of the bag. Face shields and N-95 masks need to be normalized at testing centers to protect those administering the tests as they contact many potentially infected patients.

These devices are at the center of the transmission paradox. In the name of proactive testing and tracking, we’ve overlooked and incorporated mobile devices into these tests without considering them a route to infection. We’ve also left out critical medical devices used by doctors every day on multiple patients without any disinfection. We’ve forgotten that properly fitted N-95 masks and face shields working together afford the most protection for those in contact with many patients. We can quickly disinfect these devices with modern solutions, but if we don’t disinfect them, it will afford deadly bacteria many routes to transmit rapidly.

We’re walking in circles a bit, but it’s okay, everyones’ plates were full trying to forge the path forward, and sometimes things fall off. Luckily, companies like us at Safety Net take the time to audit these procedures, look for vulnerabilities, and provide solutions.

Break the Endless Loop

Nobody likes running in circles except track athletes. So, what can we do to improve these existing procedures without going back to square one? Well, there are a few options for us to pursue here.

First and foremost, education. Education on pathways of transmission, in addition to surface transmission facts, is detrimental to improving our testing procedures and safeguarding our communities. Distributing inappropriate information throughout the world has created a foggy view of how these microbes survive outside of the body. We need to stand up and speak out against inaccurate practices that mislead the public on infection prevention. More importantly, we need to speak out about antimicrobial resistance and how lackadaisical infection control can lead to “superbugs.”

Secondly, we can implement better technologies to aid and abed us in our testing efforts. Mobile device disinfection is where UV products take the cake. UV lighting can eradicate pathogens and other deadly bacteria from surfaces and devices with little to no waste and high efficacy. Devices like the PhoneSoap Go, ExpressPro, UV Box, and UV Cube had considered these transmission pathways long before COVID-19 arrived on the scene. They were targeting more dangerous and deadly bacteria like MRSA, Staphylococcus, and C. diff but are now being tested (with success) against viruses like COVID-19.

When we place our mobile devices, keys, badges, pulse oximeters, N-95s, and face shields into these technologies, the UV light will bombard the objects from multiple angles. Because of tactically placed bulbs and shelves, irradiating UV light covers the devices for extended periods with no shadowing effects. UV boxes guarantee the most effective disinfection while being safe for your electronics.

Placing a UV box or ExpressPro next to the station you are testing employees will create an additional layer of biosecurity while reducing the waste of spray and wipe and disinfectant wipe techniques. Purchasing a PhoneSoapGo for your personal use is also recommended so you can disinfect at your leisure, constantly staying on top of hand hygiene and device hygiene.

Third, we can utilize better hand sanitizers at the testing stations that make it more appealing for those getting tested to sanitize their hands before and after testing. Solutions like mPulse hand sanitizer are great for testing stations because it’s alcohol-free and smooth on the skin. Plus, the residual component of mPulse is incredible and maintains effectiveness even through additional hand-washing.

So, how do we get off the never-ending staircase and break the endless loop of the transmission paradox in these testing stations? The answer isn’t superficial; it’s rather complicated. We need to audit all procedures, offer continuous education/training, and make sure that solutions being utilized in public spaces are efficacious and intelligently deployed. Not only will we be able to test and track the virus through testing stations, but during that discovery process, we can actively stop the virus from entering your domain further through contaminated devices. Through studying and understanding this virus and how it moves, we can create better policies that disrupt the transmission paradox.

Set up a free risk assessment and audit of your current infection prevention practices with Safety Net today. Our sole directive is to educate and promote a safer, healthier, sustainable future.

About the Author

Robert Hasselfeld is SEO manager for Safety Net.

The Enhanced Disinfection Program

The “Gold” Standard of Infection Prevention

When we consider biosecurity from the perspective of infection control, we need to take a comprehensive look at the target environment along with the innumerable pathways a dangerous microbe can exploit to arrive at destination you. When adopting infection prevention policies into the workplace we need to aim for easy workflow integration and simple communication of updated protocols to staff & visitors. COVID-19 fast-tracked the demand for infection prevention strategies to be utilized outside of the healthcare industry and put the responsibility on the business owners to create and implement these new strategies.

As a former restaurant owner & operator, I know from firsthand experience that there is minimal time to focus on infection prevention on the frontlines of every-day business. When there is lack of attention to detail in this area there is a breeding ground for antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Adopting the “quick fix” to meet the bare minimum requirements can give dangerous bacteria an opportunity to adapt and evolve to become more dangerous.

Superbugs have been rapidly developing in the post-pandemic world as a byproduct of the “gold rush” mentality that took over infection control industry and flooded the everyday market with weak solutions. Low efficacy products are irresponsible and should be condemned and taken off the market to ensure long-term protection.

In today’s world we need to design our infection prevention strategies to safeguard people and environments beyond the normal approach to cleaning and disinfecting. Safety Net has adopted this philosophy well-before the COVID-19 Pandemic arrived on scene. Since 2006, we’ve been actively analyzing, onboarding, and implementing the best infection prevention solutions and technologies to create what we believe to be the future of infection control.

Combining evidence-based infection control strategies supported by agencies such as the CDC, EPA, and FDA with tactics to put the minds of facility leadership and occupants at ease, our NEW Enhanced Disinfection Program (EHD) is a total solution and should be recognized as the “gold” standard in the fight against infectious diseases.

Personalized On-Site Risk Assessment

Starting with an on-site risk assessment, we will examine conditions in the client workplace to identify potential workplace exposures to COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. We will evaluate the client’s entire workplace or the specific operations the client designates and discuss our recommendations and the applicable OSHA standards.

From this assessment we will make recommendations for the proper combination of products and services that best meet our client’s needs. Identification and confirmation of critical high-touch surface disinfection objectives establishes a baseline for a successful infection prevention program. With products and services tailored to specific facility types, the focus now shifts from “What to do” to “How to do it” by prioritizing ongoing infection control maintenance. 

A Two-Prong Model

“Simplicity is a prerequisite for reliability.”

Edsger Dijkstra

We’ve boiled down our Enhanced Disinfection Program into two parts: the “Front Door Policy” and “Bio-Protection Mitigation Strategy.” Separate, these prongs are effective. Together, they create an indomitable strategy that covers all the major pathways of transmission for your specific work environment.

Front Door Policy

Every successful infection prevention strategy starts at the front door. It is widely recognized that most of the spread of infections in businesses including healthcare is brought in from the outside by employees, visitors, and patrons. According to a study done in Scotland during the COVID-19 pandemic found that, “the ‘first wave’ in Scotland show that healthcare workers in patient facing roles—especially those in “front door” roles—are, along with their households, at particular risk.”

As much as we love seeing a smiling receptionist at a lobby-desk, during a pandemic we should limit this face-to-face interaction or at least take a few extra preventative measures to ensure the encounter is as safe as possible. Our “front door policy” includes solutions like our Tantum Facial Recognition Thermometer. This cutting-edge detection system uses infrared thermal imaging technology to detect visitors’ body temperatures. What sets this device apart from the rest is the industrial-grade binocular camera with live facial recognition that enables face-with-mask identification. This affords your receptionist peace of mind as there is also an alarm system built in to notify you of someone who is running a fever so you can stop the infection at the front door.

Another great piece of technology that we can implement at your front door is our Macro door frame temperature detector. Designed much like a metal detector, the Macro mitigates the risks of cross-infection by manual testing. Just like a metal detector, this device will sound an alarm if it detects an abnormal temperature. Cutting off the chances of allowing infected people inside to contaminate more people and surfaces.

In addition to these great prevention tools, we include a rapid UV disinfection station with mounted hand sanitizer dispenser offered to the visitors to practice good hand hygiene. Our rapid UV disinfection device, the ExpressPro, is an amazing gadget that helps prevent the spread of infection through shared mobile devices. We know from “60 Seconds to Save a Life” that mobile devices are the new trojan horse for infectious diseases, offering a unique pathway of transmission. The ExpressPro eradicates dangerous microbes through UV light radiation in an enclosed setting which is highly efficacious and sustainable for the environment, as opposed to alcohol swab-wipes and traditional disinfection methods.

The hand sanitizer is the final piece of the front door policy puzzle. It packs a punch too. The mPulse hand sanitizer is an alcohol-free antimicrobial sanitizer that gets stronger the more you use it. Easy on the skin with a clean smell it makes hand sanitizing enjoyable and easy to inspire visitors to use.

These 4 solutions make up our “front door policy” which is designed for a mostly contactless experience and a comprehensive defense strategy at your points of entry. Another key feature of this policy is that it is fully OSHA compliant. You will avoid fines and community-based infections by implementing and executing this prong of our Enhanced Disinfection Program.

Bio-Protection Mitigation Strategy

Every business needs the right partner who has the knowledge and expertise that will work with you to develop a program that meets your specific needs. Our Front Door Policy is where it begins, but our “Bio-Protection Mitigation Strategy” is the next step in keeping germs and viruses at bay.

The scope of our program will include recommendations for frequency of disinfecting, which areas should be disinfected, and which products and services are best for the areas needing to be disinfected. Our ability to provide the proper training and education in workplace safety and compliance, whether OSHA or any other requirement that may be mandated to you, is what makes our Infection Mitigation Program a perfect solution for any business.

Safety Net has spent over a decade building many partnerships within our industry to accrue the best portfolio of solutions and technologies. A top-to-bottom environmental mitigation strategy encompasses regular consultation and training, air purification, UV disinfection, hand hygiene, whole room touchless disinfection, targeted disinfection, and eco-friendly disinfectants and antimicrobials.

  1. Client Consultation – We will start by conducting an on-site risk assessment that will examine conditions in the client workplace to identify potential workplace exposures to COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. We will evaluate the client’s entire operation and discuss applicable solutions and technologies that are compliant with OSHA’s standards. We will point out additional risk factors that pose a threat to employee health as well as gaps in training protocols. This is arguably the most important part of the Bio-Protection Mitigation Strategy because it helps educate proper disinfection methods and promotes sustainable practices moving forward.
  2. UV Disinfection – Advanced UV disinfection technology and UV-C solutions provide a solution for everyone and every mobile device. From UV disinfection for mobile devices to UV products that provide entire room disinfection at the touch of a button, we can provide products that meet all your disinfection needs.
  3. Air Purification – Our air purification systems can help you reduce dangerous pollutants and pathogens form your indoor environments. Let us help you take control of your indoor air quality by reducing pollutants that can contribute to foul odors, headaches, lung irritation and fatigue as well as more long-term conditions such as asthma, allergies, and infectious diseases. Some of our technologies can not only provide clean indoor air but they can reduce pathogens on indoor hard surfaces as well.
  4. Hand Hygiene – this is one of the most important methods to avoid the transmission and cross-contamination of harmful pathogens and prevent healthcare associated infections (HAIs). Our unique products, like the mPulse hand sanitizer, are alcohol-free and increase germ killing effectiveness over time with repeated use. It provides protection between hand washings, is skin friendly, and lasts up to 8 hours.
  5. Whole Room Touch-less Disinfection – You can’t physically spray and wipe every inch of your facility; this is where whole room touch-less disinfection devices come in. Our whole room products help reach into every nook and cranny of a room to find and destroy pathogens where they hide. These devices meet the OSHA mandate for a safe workplace and are designed to meet and exceed the EPA Disinfection Performance Standards.
  6. Targeted Disinfection – Our line of small electrostatic sprayers is compatible with all water-based disinfectants and antimicrobials. The disinfectant line is the ideal solution for biosecurity, fighting MRSA, E. Coli, salmonella, swine flu, C. Diff, H1N1, and various other bacteria and viruses. With better spray coverage than traditional spray and wipe methods, our sprayers completely eradicate dangerous microbes on hard surfaces.
  7. Disinfectants and Antimicrobials – Our disinfection and anti-microbial products a fast solution for the hardest to kill bacteria and viruses and offers residual technology solution that maintains efficacy between cleanings and disinfections by reducing the build-up of biofilms and microbial colonization.

While all these areas need to be considered, the priorities vary widely based upon a given industry’s practices. Some work environments require the implementation of most of the above infection prevention solutions, some will not, which is why the client consultation and risk assessment is vital to the success of our Enhanced Disinfection Program. Infection control is not “one size fits all” and requires personalized planning for the best results.

The Money Factor

“The infection control market is primarily driven by the high prevalence of nosocomial infections and the growing number of surgeries that require control measures to stop spreading. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one in every 20 patients admitted for the treatment will develop a nosocomial infection. Hospital-acquired infections result in more than 99,000 deaths each year. ​The lack of awareness regarding infection control and stringent regulatory requirements are anticipated to impede market growth. However, the government and non-government organizations’ initiatives regarding infection control, coupled with the growing control measures by the healthcare providers in hospitals, are expected to drive the market growth.”

This poses a slight problem that was highlighted during the peak of the pandemic. When the country was short on PPE, we had beer breweries making hand sanitizer, towel and linens companies pivoting into infection control, and numerous other businesses altering their operations to capitalize on the demand for infection control solutions.

These money-grabbers jumped on the market bandwagon for dollars and cents, not for the protection and betterment of society. With this mentality, the market was flooded with poor, environmentally harmful solutions that will inevitably lead to the development of AMRs. We’re starting to see AMRs develop more frequently and become more prevalent in the healthcare system. Since the pandemic has caused widespread adoption of infection control strategies and solutions, everyday business owners are looking for the cheapest solution to stay compliant with mandates to remain open.

A Long-Term Strategy for Total Environment Protection

The environment is an ever-changing arena and infection prevention strategies need to be adaptable and constantly tested. There is no Band-Aid that can be applied to stop the spread in a facility that suffers an outbreak, and you absolutely cannot cut corners when re-opening. Inconsistent disinfection practices allow microorganisms to adapt, become familiar with your disinfecting moves, grow resilient to them, and spread easier.

With this in mind, we’ve taken a step back, observed the battlefield, and created the Enhanced Disinfection Program to address the need for long-term infection prevention strategies in all healthcare facilities, schools, and businesses. Utilizing the partnerships we’ve formed throughout the past decade; we’ve outfitted the Enhanced Disinfection Program with the best hospital-grade technologies and solutions out there with “tomorrow” in mind. Thoughtful and continuous planning for the specifics of your work environment and for your budget is why this program is so great.

The Enhanced Disinfection Program is designed to protect businesses from fines and infections while affording them the opportunity to continue to operate safely, even during a pandemic. The comprehensive planning and highly vetted products and technologies that Safety Net deploys into the field coupled with our expert consultation is what separates our Enhanced Disinfection Program from the next. So, whether you adopt the “front door policy” or implement the “bio-protection mitigation strategy” is completely up to you but embracing the Enhanced Disinfection Program is guaranteed to protect you long-term the best.

60 Seconds to Save a Life

The ExpressPro

As a device-dependent society there is no end to the amount of shareable, wearable, and portable technologies that we will create to aide us in our everyday lives. Everywhere you go you’ll see people on their phones, tablets, Bluetooth devices, portable gaming devices, and other small gadgets.

Have you ever noticed how many phones are resting on tables at your favorite restaurant or coffee shop? Or how many tablets are used in the school classroom, being passed around from student to student, hand to hand? Just like the “5-second rule” is a myth for food, the same goes for your mobile devices. Whether they’re resting on countertops or in your hand on the throne, these devices can actively collect dangerous microbes and bacteria.

Through this collection and harboring process, the mobile devices can offer countless viruses, fungi, and bacteria new pathways to transmit to humans. This is an emerging problem, some more recent studies expose the fact that, “the possible role of mobile phones as a ‘Trojan horse’ contributing to the transmission of microbial infections in epidemics and pandemics” While this study only focused on cellphones, we can extrapolate that the same applies for all shared & mobile devices.

Busy work environments that use shared devices need to place a premium on disinfecting their electronics. Quick and consistent disinfection is the key to sharing devices safely in these environments and the best way to do that, is to provide it to all at the “front door”.

The ExpressPro is a rapid UV disinfection station that can seamlessly mold into any nursing home lobby, office lobby, athletic training room, post-security terminal, airport, etc. A sleek design and multiple ways to display and mount the ExpressPro allows for easy workflow integration.

A Well Thought Out Design

An innovative, ergonomic, and well thought out design is what makes the ExpressPro so effective. Using strategically placed UV-C bulbs, highly reflective chamber, and tactically installed Quartz shelf this device achieves a 5-Log reduction in 60 seconds. It has been clinically tested and maintains a proven 360-degree coverage of UV-C light on the target. The means the device is completely encompassed in highly effective ultraviolet light with no shadowing effect.

A common problem in rapid UV disinfection boxes are the shelving designs. Gaps in the rods allow for items to be dropped through the cracks and onto the bulbs. If the shelves are made from material that doesn’t allow UV-C to pass through unobstructed, then you’ll have a shadowing effect on your device, meaning no kill.

Poor designs lead to regular maintenance costs and part replacements. With the way the ExpressPro shelving is designed, it doesn’t allow for anything to fall through and the bulbs are protected. The lights last up to 50,000 hours and the real Quartz shelf is very durable.

In addition to general maintenance costs, if the design is not user friendly then it will inevitably lead to improper uses potentially resulting in damage to the device. Also, the intimidation factor needs to be considered. A complex design may deter people from approaching and the device.

When Should We Disinfect?

As with many things in life, timing is key. For example, after using your mobile device while on the toilet, that would be an ideal time to disinfect. Public bathrooms are breeding grounds for dangerous bacteria and whenever you pull up YouTube on your phone or tablet, you’re exposing yourself to unsavory microbes.

In the school and university setting, devices that are shared can be disinfected between class rotations. In the computer lab, how many sets of fingers have run across those keyboards before they were properly cleaned and disinfected? No problem, the ExpressPro has your back. You can even go as far as disinfecting shared writing tools such as pens, pencils, and markers. In a pre-school setting you can use the ExpressPro to achieve a high-level disinfection rate on your mobile phone which that toddler thought was edible, making sure the next kid is safe in case he or she too gets hungry.

In the healthcare setting, medical devices that are shared during patient care are critical to disinfect. There are a myriad of electronics and bits of tech that are used in modern medicine to treat patients. These devices carry the same potential to transmit dangerous microbes as your phone does.

According to a study done by the CDC, “Investigators observed multiple opportunities for contamination of the base layer of gown and gloves during doffing and through direct contact with the patient care environment or potentially contaminated surfaces such as mobile computers. Mobile computers and medical equipment were not always disinfected between uses, medical supplies (e.g., oxygen tubing and gauze) were stored in open bins in hallways and accessed by HCP wearing the base PPE layer, and missed opportunities for performing hand hygiene were observed.” (

So, what is your business, school, or healthcare facility doing to track the movement of shared devices as well as their respective disinfection cycles? Do you know how many times per day the device is disinfected? Per hour? If you’re a school or university, what steps are you taking to help provide students an opportunity to disinfect devices before and after use?

One study completed by The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety found, “overall, students cleaned their phone less than once weekly and were somewhat unlikely to remove the case (Table 1). When asked about their most common method of cleaning, students used alcohol swabs (66.7%), soap & water (10.0%), water alone (5.5%), UV light (2.2%), and other (15.6%).” This is a fair baseline to use for other devices, note how little cleaning is done and how little UV light is used. The ExpressPro makes disinfecting your device exciting! More importantly it can reduce mindless waste and provide better, more efficacious, and environmentally friendly disinfection.

We know from previous articles such as, The Proactive Approach to Infection Control, spray & wipe methods as well as alcohol wipes are not effective and contribute to tremendous waste. Chemical based methods of disinfection have been proven to have a harsh effect on devices causing cracks and breaks in the material and in many cases degrading the overall touch capability of screens on many devices. Rapid UV disinfection is a more sustainable and eco-friendly solution for electronics when packed in an enclosed, reflective setting.

If you work in the healthcare setting the ideal time to disinfect your phone would be before your shift and at the end of your shift. By taking a singular minute of your time, you’ve drastically reduced the potential of contributing to deadly HAIs. You can go to work or back home with peace of mind knowing your device is safe and clean. Having an ExpressPro in the halls of your hospital will allow any devices to be disinfected before and after entering a patient’s room, ensuring safety for those who need it most.

Adopt a Front Door Policy

We at Safety Net recommend every business, school, event center, healthcare facility, and beyond have a “front door policy” for infection prevention. Installing a simple and user-friendly disinfection station at each entry point of your place of business will ensure protection for all. Safety Net offers an affordable and effective kiosk mounted ExpressPro with optional hand sanitizer that can be placed in any lobby with ease. This kiosk puts a hard stop to dangerous pathogens from being brought into the work environment through mobile and shared devices.

Any comprehensive infection prevention and HAZCOM plan should start at the front door. Safety Net will help you create, and custom fit infection prevention plans specific for your work environment. The ExpressPro is amazing because it can fit into any front door policy no matter the industry. Mobile and shared electronics are a part of everyone’s daily lives making the ExpressPro a great fit for your entrance.

Data Tracking + Flexibility = Money Saved

Aside from a touchless, quick, and easy operation, the ExpressPro has data tracking capabilities and flexible deployment options. Data tracking is becoming more and more important especially in the wake of OSHA’s new NEP (National Emphasis Program) where you will be fined substantially for not having a comprehensive log of disinfection efforts. Recordkeeping is critical to avoiding fines and keeping staff accountable for disinfecting their devices and it also offers an opportunity to take note of how clean shared devices are.

The flexible deployment of this rapid UV disinfection device allows it to blend in with your environment however you choose. If you prefer a wall mount, there’s an option for that. It also the capability to be mounted on a roller stand for portability amongst departments. The kiosk option provides best visibility and an option for hand hygiene. The cheapest way is to just simply place it on a counter, no mounting necessary!

Cut back on those pesky, wasteful, disinfectant wipes. Stop spraying and waiting on specific dwell times before wiping off your device (you are waiting the required dwell time, aren’t you?). Quit applying chemical solutions that are harmful and destructive to the devices. Get an ExpressPro that helps you avoid fines, keeps your devices in top condition, saves you time, saves you money, and most importantly saves lives!

So, would you Spare 60 Seconds to Save a Life?

Through clinical testing the ExpressPro is proven to achieve a 5-Log kill in 60 seconds on C. diff, MRSA, SARS-Cov-2, and Coronavirus 229E. And as we emerge from the ashes of the COVID-19 pandemic, and realize that others may follow, we need to understand and have a firm grasp on all the new pathways for microbes to transmit to us. The ExpressPro rapid UV disinfection device is designed with long-term in mind. As more devices are released each year and newer and more deadly viruses emerge, there needs to be a demand for rapid disinfection stations like the ExpressPro at the entrance of all healthcare facilities and public places. So, buy an ExpressPro, adopt a ”front door policy”, and start relaxing knowing that you’ve just taken the first steps towards implementing a comprehensive infection prevention plan and helping drastically reduce the potential for community-based infections.

Become an Industry Leader of OSHA Compliance

“Opportunity does not waste time with those who are unprepared.”

― Idowu Koyenikan

Beginning in January of this year President Joe Biden, signed new legislation that put in place a National Emphasis Program (NEP) that is concerning workplace policies and procedures when dealing with SARS-CoV-2, which we all know as the cause of the novel Coronavirus disease. This means that every operating business is liable to inspection by an OSHA compliance task force.

What is the Goal of the Task Force?

OSHA’s goal is to target establishments that have “workers with increased potential exposure to this hazard, and that puts the largest number of workers at serious risk.” Another focus of the NEP is an added focus on the Whistleblower Protection Program that helps keep workers safe from being retaliated against for reporting poor conditions. They will also be stopping by facilities and businesses that have had high numbers relating to Covid-19 and those who have had public inquiries or community concerns, with a higher frequency than those who have a clean track record and less negative data.

Programmed and Un-programmed Inspections

OSHA will be referring to past data and they will also be performing their typical programmed visits as well as increased un-programmed (unscheduled) drop in visits to specifically view and document what precautions and protocols have been put into place to help keep employees, contractors, and customers safe from Covid-19. The good news is that you have now been informed, and you are now able to act.

HAZCOM Planning

Having written HAZCOM plans and eradicating equipment along with proper disinfecting solutions are imperative for OSHA compliance. Failing an inspection leads to public notice that you have failed and why, as well as a hefty fine that can total upwards of $13,000. You will also have to prepare for follow up visits which OSHA is well known for. If they find more signs of neglect, then they will issue steeper fines upon further inspection. If you find yourself in this situation and you find yourself needing assistance, fear not, because Safety Net America is here to help you stay compliant.

From Zero to Hero, Becoming an Industry Leader

We are familiar with OSHA’s operating procedures, and we can help you beat the system and avoid further inspections and penalties. The best way to keep OSHA out of your facilities is to be proactive and be prepared to act fast when you need to. Safety Net will consult with Safety Managers, Workplace Coordinators, Risk-Assessment persons etc., to tailor a plan and help to fill in the gaps of your infection control and prevention protocol.

In addition, we will fulfill everything you need for compliancy which in turn will ensure preparedness for an un-programmed visit by OSHA. From UV technology, Electrostatic Sprayers, Air Purification devices, as well as emergency service capabilities, we have what you need to ensure a proper HAZCOM plan and help boost you to an industry leader in Workplace Health & Safety.

About the Author

Chris Wolf is an account manager with Safety Net and has been with the company since 2019.

Transportation Infection Control

The transportation industry is a complex web of multi-faceted operations with the objective of getting objects (or people) from A to B as smoothly and as safely as possible. It is a massive industry sector of the global economy with the U.S. trucking industry accounting for 791.7 billion U.S. dollars alone. Trucking is just one piece of the transportation organism. There are 3 main transportation environments that are commonplace in today’s world: shipping/sea transit, ground transportation, and air transportation (space transport is also an emerging industry). As traveling becomes easier for both objects and people, infection prevention and control has been an ever-growing focal point for this industry. Last year only accelerated the process of putting a premium on infection prevention.

What is the Problem?

4 major concerns have arisen from the COVID-19 pandemic as primary focal points of transportation infection control. We need to mitigate risk in high-traffic environments (air/surface disinfection), crowd control and exposure times, multi-drug resistant pathogens, and correcting the misinformation surrounding current protocols within the industry.

Mitigating Risk in High-Traffic Environments

It’s no question people carry diseases and all sorts of bacteria. COVID-19 has made us all aware of the fact that people are vehicles for disease and packing like sardines into an airplane or bus with people from many different geographic regions increases the risk of infectious disease. So how do we mitigate the risk?

Air Purification

How many times do you hear someone cough or sneeze on an airplane or bus? What do you think the chances are of them properly covering the droplets that are coming out of them?

According to the NCIB, “exposure to airborne biological hazards in an ever expanding urban transport infrastructure and highly diverse mobile population is of growing concern, in terms of both public health and biosecurity.”

The droplets produced during a sneeze or cough can remain suspended in the air for some time. The transmission of dangerous airborne pathogens from source to host is a complex process involving many pathways, although when people crowd together it is a bit simpler for these pathogens to transmit to others.

With the high levels of traffic that airports see daily, air purification needs to be at the heart of their infection prevention plans. Currently HVAC systems are retrofitted and designed with HEPA filters that capture particulates as they pass through the system. A major concern with this is the high cost associated with replacing these filters. Another worry is that traditional HEPA filters are not as efficient as advertised, the technology is outdated and can be replaced with newer technologies like Electric Wind Technology found in the AirSoap air purifier. Contrary to HEPA filters that capture particulates down to 300nm (nanometers), this technology can capture particles as small as 14nm!

“AirSoap’s™ Electric Wind Technology™ generates a high-energy plasma field that kills bacteria and viruses and polarizes airborne particles. The bacteria are then collected in a filter-less graphene system, resulting in air that is cleaner and healthier than what traditional filter-based air purifiers can provide.”

Surface Disinfection

You may have heard the CDC’s recent babblings on how surface disinfection can take a back seat to air purification…. this is illogical. Have you ever heard the phrase, “what goes up, must come down?” Even airborne particles stay suspended only for a finite time before coming down to the ground where they can survive on surfaces for days, depending on the bacteria. Surface disinfection is the perfect companion of air purification and needs to be held close to one’s heart with regards to transportation infection control.

The dispersion and transfer of infectious diseases deposited on various surfaces and materials also offer a major pathway for transmission for these dangerous pathogens. Some high-touch, high-risk surfaces include skin, doorknobs, railings, seats, escalator handrails, ATMs, check in screens, cell phones/tablets, and more. Again, focusing primarily on airports, we’ve seen numerous methods used to tackle surface disinfection.

Our proven method of surface disinfection is using high efficacy electrostatic spraying systems that electrically charge the disinfection solution of your choosing. This ensures the target surface is fully covered with solution allowing for the highest kill rate possible. Once the disinfectant is applied, we recycle back to the beginning and apply a residual antimicrobial agent that ensures long-term protection.

Crowd Control & Reducing Exposure Times

It’s no surprise that airports and bussing services get crowded, the question that needs to be addressed is, “how long do we want people in close quarters, what can we do to reduce the crowding aspect, and all the while mitigate the transfer of dangerous microbes?” Seems like a lot to tackle but when giving it some thought, you can solve this problem a little easier than advertised. Deploying multi-layered disinfection solutions, air purification systems, high-touch device disinfection technologies, and antimicrobials will cover any gaps in your transportation infection control plan.

A highly comprehensive transportation infection control and prevention plan goes a long way. Covering the ground up to air is necessary and will help abate the transmission during highly trafficked periods throughout the day. This is where companies like Safety Net thrive, over the years we’ve accrued a suite of products/solutions that cover your environment from top to bottom. Currently one of our primary customers is the Cincinnati Airport (CVG). They have been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic fighting it with our eco-friendly solutions and technologies, their response to the pandemic has garnered them the award of business with the best pandemic response in the state of Kentucky.

Multi-drug Resistant Pathogens (MDRs)

A major concern in the world right now is the ongoing phenomenon of multi-drug resistant pathogens. These are bacteria and other microorganisms that have developed resistance to antimicrobial drugs.

First discovered in the realm of antibiotics we are now seeing an increase in the amount of MDRs in the disinfection industry. The use of shoddy disinfecting solutions and antimicrobials that use leaching technology (where antimicrobial agent is absorbed by target bacteria and kills from within) are culprits of this growing issue. COVID-19 accelerated this issue because of the number of companies who pivoted into the disinfection sector. When this “gold rush” moment happened, people were more concerned about their profits than the potential risk of creating “superbugs.” Leave it to the experts please…which leads us to our final section of the problem.

Misinformation Nation

Let’s talk about facts for a second. UV-C light disinfection is a great tool; however, we have seen it being used improperly and marketed incorrectly in the real world. Which gives people the wrong information and worse, a false sense of security. Look at Fig 1 for a moment and see if you can figure out what is wrong with this…aside from the grainy image.

Fig 1

To the untrained eye you’ll see a great innovative solution with high efficacy reaching a full sterilization level. To the trained eye, you’ll see misinformation. UV-C disinfection efficacy is dependent on proximity to the target surface and the amount of time the contaminated surface is exposed to the UV light, and even then, you have to worry about shadowing. Even with proper exposure times, the possibility of reaching a sterilization level with this technology is limited, especially in this setting.

For a more in-depth look at the difference between the terminology of sterilant, disinfecting, and general-purpose cleaning solutions check out our blog, “The Proactive Approach to Infection Control.

This simple example of incorrect terminology creates a snowball effect of relaxed travelers who believe this rail to be completely safe of all dangerous microbes. Instead of wasting time and money on signs that hold no value to the patron and incorrectly market information, industry leaders should outsource this part of their budget to the experts. Safety Net has been in the infection prevention game since 2006 and are actively working to correct and combat the information that has been presented throughout the past year. Even long-standing institutions like the CDC have been wishy-washy on their statements so make sure check and double check all statements made and call Safety Net if you have any questions surrounding transportation infection control and prevention.

Travel safely!

About the Author

Robert Hasselfeld is SEO manager and an account manager for Safety Net.

How Universities Can Tackle Infection Control in Athletic Training Rooms

Written by: Alice Palmer

When you think about athletic activities, the top risks that come to mind are musculoskeletal injuries. Although, athletes, students, and staff are also at high risk of acquiring infections in training rooms. These enclosed spaces are conducive to viral and bacterial growth because athletes are in close contact with each other — often in conditions that are far from ideal.

A study tested two high school and two collegiate athletic training rooms and found that there were significant amounts of bacterial load inside. There were also high rates of multidrug-resistant organisms like the methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and the vancomycin-resistant enterococcus (VRE). In fact, 24% of all the surfaces swabbed during the study contained these organisms; and 25% of surfaces carried the influenza virus. These infectious organisms are health hazards, MRSA infections are infamous for requiring hospitalization and intravenous antibiotic treatments. What’s more, student-athletes may become spreaders of these viruses throughout the school. However, the same study also curbed the viral load in athletic training rooms down to 0% through awareness drives and disinfection methods. Take a cue from those researchers and tackle infection control in your athletic training rooms through the following measures:

Have a proactive infection control awareness drive

Infectious disease specialist at the Wayne State University’s medical program, Teena Chopra, says that the biggest impact on infection control will come from prevention. The student-athletes must first understand the risks of infection, after which they’re motivated to adopt behavioral changes.

Chopra says hand hygiene is the cornerstone of infection mitigation. Moreover, as we discussed in a previous post, there should be an increase in awareness about cross-contamination — from viruses on devices such as phones.

Student-athletes must also be careful not to touch the T-zone with dirty hands; this is where dirty hands can make contact with the eyes, nose, and mouth. Chopra urges those who are in charge of spaces like universities, athletic facilities, and training rooms to implement programs for antimicrobial stewardship.

Get help from an infection control nurse

Infections are medical health threats, that much is clear. Bringing in professionals like nurses would not only help control the infection, but would also greatly promote student-athletes’ overall health. As the pandemic revealed nurses’ important role in infection control, it also exacerbated the nursing shortage. This pushed the healthcare community to adapt quickly to continue producing more nurses.

One of the key strategies is online learning. Today, nurses can take online RN to BSN programs to advance their practice and become certified in infection control. As these programs are taught purely online, it’s an ideal arrangement for practicing nurses. Online BSN curriculums are also accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education ensuring that they’re on par with traditional degrees. Infection control nurses are taught the best practices for halting the spread of viruses and bacteria— this on top of delivering care to people who’ve contracted diseases. These specialized nurses can even work with you to create awareness drives and establish the proper protocols.

Hire professionals for thorough disinfection

While regular cleaning is encouraged, it may not be enough for athletic training rooms. It’s best to commission professionals to ensure that the job is done well in these demanding spaces. Plus, your facility may have specific concerns that you may not be aware of.

Enlist the help of professional disinfecting teams from Safety Net to get the best combination of infection control solutions and disinfection services. We offer custom disinfection services tailor-fit to your needs, making infection control more cost-effective. We have an impressive range of EPA-approved and registered devices that can aid in disinfection and long-term protection. Getting your athletic training rooms disinfected by Safety Net is a great springboard towards eliminating infectious viruses altogether. You can also strengthen your infection control efforts with our offerings of the newest technologies, including air purification systems, UV Boxes, and mPulse hand sanitizers.

Infection control in athletic training rooms isn’t a one-time deal, it needs consistent effort and continuous awareness.

About the Author

Alice Palmer is a guest writer for The Safety Blog.

A Modern-Era Antimicrobial

It is truly incredible the rate that technology evolves. In all industries we’ve seen exponential growth in accordance with Moore’s Law, occasionally surpassing its prediction model. Once in a while there comes along a technology that changes the scope of what’s possible in its related industry. For hard-surface disinfection it’s the residual antimicrobial solution, Penetrexx.

Antimicrobials: What are They?

An antimicrobial is an agent that destroys and inhibits the growth of bacteria, viruses, microorganisms, and fungi. Within the antimicrobial family there are two classifications based upon their respective delivery methods. They are known as leaching and non-leaching antimicrobials.

Leaching – when a leaching antimicrobial is applied to a surface it will migrate and aim to be consumed by the microorganisms. It will destroy through infiltration from within the confines of the cell. One major pitfall to this delivery method is that if, by chance, the microbe absorbs less than the lethal dose it may adapt and become resistant!

Non-Leaching — This when the antimicrobial agent actively seeks to bond to the surface or product. It has a much more effective way of killing the cell through a mechanism called lysis. This is where, instead of being consumed, they penetrate the cell wall thus destroying it completely. The best part is the microbe’s ability to adapt and mutate will be drastically inhibited. It’s far less likely to encounter mutations using this style of antimicrobial.

Determining Efficacy

When it comes to determining efficacy of antimicrobials they are run through a number of tests. Two of the most important tests to take note of are the disk-diffusion test and the use-dilution test.

Disk-Diffusion: this method involves applying the antimicrobial to a sterile filter paper disk which is then placed on an agar plate housing the target bacterium. The chemicals diffuse out of the disk onto the plate full of bacteria. Scientists will then measure the diameter of the circle that surrounds the paper disks. This zone is known as the “zone of inhibition.”

Use-Dilution: this test is primarily used to determine the agent’s effect on inanimate surfaces. This test begins by dipping a stainless-steel cylinder into a culture of microbes. Once it has dried, the cylinder is dipped into the antimicrobial solution at various concentrations for a specific amount of time. After this process has finished and the cylinder has dried it will make one more trip and be transferred into a new tube. This tube contains a sterile medium in which the bacteria will be observed to have survived or died during the disinfection process.

So, What is Penetrexx?

Penetrexx is a highly effective, environmentally friendly, residual antimicrobial technology that is designed to form a permanent bond on virtually any surface. This puts it under the category of non-leaching. When applied, it creates an antimicrobial layer that inhibits the growth of odor producing organisms, viruses, and other microorganisms. This layer is bound to the surface and creates a bed of “molecular swords” (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1

Contrary to disinfectants that achieve increased logarithmic kill rates with extended dwell times, residual antimicrobials, specifically bound technologies like Penetrexx, work on a constant basis. If you were to just use standard disinfectants with decent log-kill rates, you’ll reduce the amount of living bacteria on a given surface. But how long does that last? When do you have to disinfect and clean again? How many times per day? Per hour? What a headache.

Microbial growth takes place between disinfections. If you apply a residual antimicrobial like Penetrexx you will decrease the amount of living organisms on high touch surfaces long-term which will make your general disinfection efforts more effective (Fig. 2).

When applying Penetrexx, the preferred method is using an electrostatic sprayer to ensure 360-degree coverage of the area you’re looking to protect. Using an electrostatic sprayer will negatively charge the solution. The solution will bond with the surface entirely allowing the molecular swords in the solution to engulf the high-risk surface or object. Due to the negative charge, positively charged pathogens and microbes will be attracted to the swords in the negative solution. The swords will puncture the microbes and pathogens.

The best part is that the swords aren’t finished. They will remain there from the initial spray ensuring long-term protection. After the application process, future microbes will be inhibited from growing and spreading due to the constant presence of the swords. As you go about your cleaning, you’ll wipe the ‘carcasses’ of bacteria off of the surface while the swords remain in place and ready for another battle.

For example, think of it as if someone put a plastic sheet over an extremely expensive couch. The plastic sheet representing Penetrexx. Over the course of time many things will gather on the sheet such as crumbs, pocket change, what have you. This is symbolic of how the bond of swords on the surface attract pathogens and bacteria. At the time of our choosing, we can simply wipe the nonsense off of the plastic sheet and wait for another round of junk to gather. The important thing is that the expensive couch remains protected by the plastic sheet, protecting our sacred investment.

Residual Antimicrobial Application

Before using any antimicrobial or strong disinfectant, you need to make sure your target surface is clean. If you apply disinfectants to dirty surfaces, they will not be nearly as effective. Using an electrostatic sprayer is the preferred method of deploying Penetrexx, primarily because of the 360-degree coverage it achieves (Fig. 3). As always, make sure to be wearing personal protective equipment before beginning the application.

Contributing to Healthier Living Environments for All

The proof is in the pudding.

There have been numerous studies looking at the residual antimicrobial power of Penetrexx. The University of Georgia did a study of how the antimicrobial can be used in the prevention of listeria monocytogenes biofilm creation. The University conducted the use-dilution test 3 times and noted a lowering of listeria by a log10 reduction factor (Fig. 4). In this experimental study it is important to note that the trial used extremely high numbers of Listeria to challenge the solution. In the real world there would be far less Listeria cells traveling on fomites and being transmitted to the surface.

Fig. 4

A second study was conducted at a Medical Office Suite in Florida over six consecutive weeks. Forty data points were selected with 20 being treated with Penetrexx (test) and 20 untreated (control). ATP testing was done on all points in the evening and then again, the following morning. On average, the treated surface saw an overnight bio load reduction of 300% while the control group increased their bio load by 50% (Fig. 5).

Fig. 5

There are additional studies that showcase the true power of Penetrexx within the medical industry as well as commercial business space. The one thing that remains consistent throughout the varying tests and environments is the power Penetrexx has when it comes to stopping microbial growth.

Impact on Animal Health

Its contribution to the animal health industry cannot go unnoticed. Disinfection and sanitization are cornerstones for healthier livestock and poultry populations, the same as us. What has been missing in this industry’s infection prevention protocols is the addition of proven, safe, non-toxic, environmentally responsible technology that offers long term protection to these critical environments.

In one study done by the University of Georgia, 2 test houses and 2 control houses of chickens were included in the trial. The test houses were electrostatically sprayed with the antimicrobial. Within the test houses they discovered an overall bacterium decrease on ceilings (100%), wood (99.8%), plastic (86.7%), and metal (100%). The overall airborne counts decreased due to the decreased surface counts.

The presence of the residual antimicrobial lead to incredibly impacts across the board. Such as, the number of chickens available for sale increased by 137 birds per house, mortality decreased by .06%, each treated house sold more weight per house, and the average weight per bird increased.

In the dairy industry there was a calf hutch (Fig. 6) study conducted with Purina Animal Nutrition. A calf hutch is an individual pen with a shelter and outdoor area. The study included 100 cow hutches (50 control/50 test). The test hutches were only treated once with the antimicrobial agent at the start of the trial. The control hutches were cleaned and prepared with existing protocols. Within calf hutches, bioaccumulation is significant. Open-air, humidity, feces, urine, dust, etc. all being contributors.

Fig. 6

What this study was able to conclude is that in the test hutches, calves were exposed to 92% less bio burden in the second week. In weeks 3 and 8, the test hutches were exposed to 82-84% less bio burden over the control hutches. After 82 days, the test hutches were exposed to 51% less bio burden than the control. The test hutch calves gained an average of 3.28-5.74 pounds greater than the average weight gained by the control group (Fig. 7).

Fig. 7

Worry-Free Protection

It is clear that the use of this residual antimicrobial technology will help reduce the spread of infectious disease no matter the setting. If you put a premium on your reputation for protecting your employees, patients, animals, etc. you’ll want to contact us and find out where this modern-era antimicrobial will fit into your infection prevention plan.

Safety Net can provide the solution and or bring service your environment. Offering comprehensive infection control & prevention solutions is our goal. Compounding years of experience with attention to detail is why hospitals and healthcare facilities choose Safety Net for all their disinfection needs. Applying solutions like Penetrexx is what separates Safety Net from the rest, guaranteeing you worry-free protection.

About the Author

Robert Hasselfeld is SEO manager and an account manager at Safety Net.