TAMPA BAY, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) - Today was the first day of school for Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas Counties. As these schools are reopening one Tampa Bay company says it's working to keep students returning to the classroom safe with new technology.
CW44's Andrea Alvarez spoke with disinfectant expert, Jeff DeVengencie of Enviro-Master Services to discuss the Virus Vaporizer™ device that resembles something from a Disney Movie. Imagine a device that could spray disinfectant onto something; and that spray wraps around the item like a web, killing germs. It's making its way to classrooms and daycares all across Tampa Bay, Florida and now the rest of the country.
Enviro-Master provides the disinfectant service which can be purchased for a company, school or the like similar to a lawn care or cleaning service. According to the company, the electrostatic spraying service uses and EPA registered, hospital-grade disinfectant and germicide to kill some of the most dangerous disease-causing pathogens. They claim the product is food safe, non-toxic, and can be applied to all surfaces—even food preparation areas. The unique process uses oxygen to kill bacteria and viruses' so germs cannot build a resistance to the product.
DeVengencie explains, "With the products passing through the gun, it puts an electrostatic charge to the product. And that's a positive charge in the product. You can't get that out of your aerosol can of Lysol. It'll wrap around like say, a desk chair, the desk feet, it goes all around, up and around everything and touches everything and disinfects all the total surface rather than just the top of the surface."
The idea for this new technology started in Tampa Bay, but DeVengencie says it was developed long before the pandemic. "We started using it as test in 2016. Now with the pandemic that's going on, it's a great, great tool for us to do what we do."
And as schools reopen across the state, "on average, students come in contact with over 150,000 germs at school every day. And when you add COVID-19 to the situation, it just brings it to a higher level of what they need to get done."
Enviro-Master have made it their goal to help protect students. "The preschools in the daycares have been able to take advantage of what we've been doing and in there it's proven that their coronavirus outbreaks have been low."
Microbiologist at the University of Arizona Dr. Charles Gerba conducted a study in UA classrooms with a virus vaporizer device. He found reduced levels of bacteria by 99.2% on surfaces in the room. Five days later, the number was still down at 79.2%.
DeVengencie says "It's actually taken us to the whole a whole new level and awareness of what we do. And now with the pandemic, it just makes it aware for everybody to be able to take advantage of what we do."
While experts are pushing to get new technology like this into more Tampa Bay school districts, DeVengencie exclaims, "The public school markets, it's a tough nut to crack. Even for our business to get into they have their own protocols." He says the disinfecting doesn't stop here. "We need to help our community be safe in our communities and feel safe to send their kids back to school."
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