90 Day Sanitizing Solution For A Fretful Pandemic Age
By Tina Traster
As schools gear up to reopen and businesses invite employees back, those in charge are grappling with the daunting task of implementing new regimens to keep spaces sanitized to ward off the coronavirus. No doubt procurers will shore up on disinfectants and paper towels and hand sanitizers and hope for the best.
But what if you’re looking for a more global solution? Something high tech that requires men in hazmat suits.
Who you gonna call?
Atlantic, Tomorrows Office. Because the office technology company, themselves impacted by withering sales during the pandemic, has diversified into the sanitizing space with a two-step biochemical process that disinfects and protects interior spaces for up to 90 days.
Atlantic is an authorized dealer and applicator for a two-step spraying and sealing sanitizing process from ViaClean Technologies LLC, a Philadelphia biotech company that develops, manufactures and markets environmentally-responsible solutions that protect surfaces from microbial contaminants (algae, bacteria, fungi, mold and viruses).
The EPA-registered BioProtectUsystem, ViaClean’s trade name, contains a water-based antimicrobial that creates a protective shield when applied to porous and non-porous surfaces. Laboratory testing has shown the products eliminate and suppress long-term germs and microorganisms and future testing will begin soon to determine product effectiveness against COVID-19. ViaClean’s BIOPROTECTUs™ System includes BIOPROTECT™ for textiles, plastics and metal goods as well as a line of odor control products; SportFresh for sports equipment and apparel; Chevelure for synthetic and human hair wigs and soon to launch CleanTouch family of consumer products.
“BioProtect, ViaClean has an almost sci-fi like ability to bond to nearly any surface (non-porous or porous) and to continue to inhibit the growth of any bacteria, viruses and other microbes which come into contact with that surface for up to 90 days,” said Jason Weiss, Atlantic’s executive vice president.
Atlantic, Tomorrow’s Office, a New York City office technology company focused on copiers, printers and managed IT services, was hard hit by pandemic shutdowns. “During this time, we spent significant time preparing for the new normal,” said Weiss.
What rang a bell for Weiss was a concept he’d been noodling with since September 2019 when friends introduced him to the ViaClean Technologies team. Weiss, a lawyer by training, didn’t have a science background but was intrigued by the technology. At the time, he didn’t see a clear path for becoming a potential investor or how the company’s mission would fuse with Atlantic but the pandemic changed that.
Weiss knew who he was ‘gonna call.’
“In March, printing dried up,” he said. “It was a difficult time. We had to make a decision on how to generate revenue and mitigate loss. We sell products that are at the center of the office but nobody’s at the office,” he said.
But Weiss knew people would eventually have to come back to the office. No one knew how soon or how staggered that effort would be – or will be – but life must go on. Weiss pondered what the pandemic era office might look like – and he saw a Sisyphean world where people were constantly spraying and wiping and spraying and wiping. A solution-solver by its nature, Atlantic recognized that BioTech’s moment had arrived.
“It was clear ViaClean’s technology was positioned to disrupt the prevailing antiquated disinfection standards – essentially applying relatively cheap commercial grade disinfectants which use noxious chemicals (like bleach) to kill bacteria, germs and viruses,” said Weiss.
Originally, the company thought to offer the BioProtect application for all new equipment shipped to customers hoping it would ease customers’ concerns about disease transmission through the equipment. But then the company took a step back to consider the bigger picture – What happens after the 90 days? What about other high touch communal surfaces (e.g. doorknobs, water coolers)?
“We were confronted with an opportunity to more holistically support our customers by offering the spraying as a regular service.”
Atlantic recommends the BioProtect application (the protectant) quarterly, bi-monthly or monthly, though most clients opt for a quarterly service. Cost and application time are based on the square footage of the space. Average cost for a multi-application contract is $.35 per square foot. The job takes between two to three hours for a space between 5,000 square feet and 7,000 square feet. Germ-busters in white suits with electrostatic backpack sprayers disinfect all surfaces, which take roughly ten minutes to dry. The entire process is odorless.
To date, the company has used the process on a handful of Rockland’s early adapters including BRIDGES and the Spring Valley Hook and Ladder Company.
“We are very much attuned to the health of our clients and our staff and this technology offered an ideal solution for us,” says BRIDGES executive director Carlos Martinez. “Instead of sanitizing each time a surface is touched, according to research, BioProtect keeps working for weeks and even months at a time. This technology, in addition to our other safety measures, adds to the peace of mind of staff and all those we serve.”