Behind the Scenes: Tackling Coronavirus with Virox
March 27 • Wellness & Sustainability
While we all feel the effects of COVID-19, Virox® Technologies, creators of Rejuvenate® and Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide® products, are working tirelessly to supply businesses around the globe with disinfectants.
Check out the Wall Street Journal's video on Virox below to see how they're assisting in the fight against the Coronavirus. If you would prefer to read rather than watch, a transcript of the video can be found at the bottom of this page.
This warehouse usually operates 10 hours a day, four days a week, packaging and shipping industrial disinfectant products. Right now, workers are here seven days a week, 13 hours a day to keep up with demand from businesses during the Novel Coronavirus outbreak.
Randy Pilon, Founder and CEO, Virox Technologies INC.
“Disinfectants have now moved out of the clinical space into the mainstream and I don't see that changing in the foreseeable future.”
Virox Technologies is a disinfectant company based out of Oakville, Ontario. They created the patented solution accelerated hydrogen peroxide, or AHP, a disinfectant with the ability to kill viruses. So, can Virox keep up with demand? And how can their products help fight the Novel Coronavirus pandemic?
Hydrogen peroxide is active against a wide range of microorganisms, including bacteria, yeasts, fungi, viruses, and spores.
Faraz Ahmadpour, Senior Vice President, R&D and Open Innovation at Virox Technologies INC.
“Naturally speaking, hydrogen peroxide is an unstable molecule. That means that it likes to break down from hydrogen peroxide to water and oxygen.”
Virox’s AHP technology combines hydrogen peroxide and other ingredients, which Virox claims creates an effective cleaning agent, but one that is environmentally friendly and safe to use on a variety of products and materials. As businesses around the country temporarily shutter, Virox is producing five times more AHP products than usual. Today their technology is being used in nursing homes and healthcare systems, like Northwell Health, and cleaning companies for the virus-stricken cruise ship, Diamond Princess, are required to have experience with Virox products.
“This is the area that we call where the magic happens. That's all the innovation work, novel synergies, novel technologies, and formulation work that leads to the production of our anti-microbial disinfectants. Here are some examples of different formats of products that we have. We have wider bucket wipes, smaller format wipes, ready-to-use sprays, and concentrates. This year you see a wide format wipe, the size of it is larger. It's mainly used for disinfecting surfaces, by janitors and sanitary crews.”
The Coronavirus pandemic has crippled the roughly $40 billion US cruise industry. The world's four biggest cruise lines said that they were cutting short voyages and suspending US sailings for a month. Major cruise lines are using AHP products to disinfect their ships.
So usually in the cruise industry you have the workers using reusable microfiber wipes and they often put them in a little basin and pour our disinfectant solutions to completely saturate them. They'll start disinfecting from higher to reach areas and do their disinfection and make sure they touch all the surfaces going from top to bottom and later move to lower areas like desk surfaces and tables and railings, chairs possibly, making sure that the disinfectant is evenly applied on all surfaces.
In early March, the EPA released a list of products qualified for use against the Novel Coronavirus, including information about the amount of time a surface has to remain wet for effective disinfection and whether the product has demonstrated efficacy against a harder to kill virus than this one. Virox products were there alongside bleach, ethanol and quaternary ammonium-based disinfectants, among others. While these products have not been tasted specifically against the Novel Coronavirus, the EPA has listed them as they have demonstrated efficacy against a harder to kill virus or against another similar human coronavirus, according to an EPA spokesperson.
Our competition is not brands. It is legacy chemistries, chemicals that have been used for decades, sometimes 50-60 years, that have remained unchanged. All the while the bugs are mutating, but the chemical stayed the same. So, it's not terribly difficult to disinfect a surface. It's difficult to disinfect a surface without hurting the surface or the person doing it and the environment post use.
The cleaning and hygiene company Diversey bought the intellectual property rights to AHP technology from Virox in December and distributes it to more than 28 countries around the world. The company has seen an eight-fold increase in orders of Virox AHP products since the beginning of the outbreak and its increasing month over month.
I mean if you take a look at SARS from 2003 and you take a look at where we are today, there's been a number of many outbreaks in between there. So, you had MERS in the Middle East. Again, another virus transmitted from an animal. And then in between there you've had community outbreaks of MRSA and VRE. The infection prevention experts call it the bug of the week club. They do not expect that, you know, this is the end. This is just possibly the new norm. All of this activity will make people more prepared, more aware, and you're going to see different procedures, processes put in place in terms of state of readiness.
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