A Seattle-area lighting producer has entered the market with a line of UV lighting merchandise that it says can kill viruses and hold folks protected — simply as faculties and companies put together to welcome college students and staff in a post-pandemic world.
“We’re quoting a whole lot of industrial alternatives,” mentioned Jim Mischel, CEO of Safeology.
Everett, Wash.-based Safeology spun out of Electric Mirror, which manufactures luxurious lighted mirrors and drugs cupboards for the hospitality business. 90% of the inns in Las Vegas have put in Electrical Mirrors merchandise, mentioned Teresa Wenta, the corporate’s world govt director of promoting.
The corporate’s website describes how in January 2020, as the primary U.S. COVID instances have been being identified in Everett, Jim Mischel began enthusiastic about methods to guard his new child daughter and the group from getting sick.
About the identical time, his brother, Aaron — an govt vp of gross sales for the corporate — was touring on enterprise and seeing how COVID was beginning to unfold. When he returned to Everett, “my brother marched into my workplace and mentioned ‘You gotta do that,’” Jim Mischell recalled. In March 2020, they fashioned Safeology as a individually branded division of Electrical Mirrors.
The corporate’s background within the lighting enterprise made it logical for Safeology to make use of UV-C lighting to battle viruses.
“It was a fairly simple transition,” Aaron Mischel mentioned. “It’s only a lighting product.”
UV-C lighting has been used for many years to scale back the unfold of varied microbes, significantly in medical settings. Testing has proven that it destroys the outer protein layer of human coronaviruses, which renders them inactive.
One check discovered it to be more than 99% effective in particularly stopping the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19. Airways already are using UV-C lighting devices to disinfect passenger cabins between flights, with Honeywell and Boeing among the many producers promoting merchandise into that market.
Nonetheless, UV-C gentle additionally could be dangerous to people, inflicting extreme flash sunburns and typically eye injury. Not all UV-C merchandise available on the market are protected, Jim Mischel mentioned.
“There are a whole lot of gimmicks on the market,” he mentioned, “or merchandise which might be actually harmful for folks.”
One among Safeology’s first steps was to kind a scientific advisory team, which incorporates Dr. George Diaz, who identified and handled the primary recognized COVID affected person within the U.S. The consultants helped them determine how lengthy the SARS-CoV-2 virus must be uncovered to UV-C gentle to be efficient.
“We knew the expertise,” Aaron Mischel mentioned. “But it surely’s good to have the true science behind the expertise.”
Safeology has pivoted with its product choices as extra has grow to be recognized in regards to the virus.
Initially, the corporate provided a UV-C tower that might be utilized in an empty room to sterilize it. That was as a result of it was thought the first means the virus unfold was on surfaces.
As scientific understanding superior, and it turned clear that COVID was an airborne virus, the corporate developed a transportable air purification system that sucks room air right into a chamber the place it’s blasted by UV-C gentle, then filtered via each HEPA and carbon filters earlier than the air is returned to the room.
This not solely removes COVID from the room, however some other virus, micro organism or allergen, Aaron Mischel mentioned. It is also quiet sufficient to run whereas college students or workplace staff are within the room.
The transportable filtration system could be managed via a smartphone app. “It’s the primary mission I do know of wherever the place industrial cellular air purification has been mixed with IoT (Web of Issues) infrastructure,” Jim Mischel mentioned.
The corporate’s most up-to-date product is an upper-room system that attaches to the ceiling and sends beams of UV-C gentle parallel to the ground, making a virus-free zone above the heads of the folks within the room. As air circulates within the room, the sunshine disinfects it.
“It doesn’t matter what seasonal virus comes, you possibly can be at work whereas your gentle overhead is cleansing the air,” Aaron Mischel mentioned.
The Mischels say they’ve had “an incredible preliminary begin” with orders for his or her merchandise, however are “having to actually educate folks” on how the expertise works.
Whilst extra People get vaccinated, there appears to be demand for this type of a product, Jim Mischel mentioned. “Individuals are afraid, and the vaccine’s not foolproof.”