WEST HAVEN — A local start-up company is offering a two-step sanitation process it says keeps self-disinfecting long after it’s applied.
The company, Rx Surface Protection Solutions, with partners from West Haven, Milford, Orange, North Haven and West Hartford, is applying the two-step method to cars, restaurants, homes and businesses, and recently donated its services to the city’s fleet of police cruisers.
The company can’t guarantee its product kills the novel coronavirus, but a statement on the company’s website connects the dots as to why it can be used against it.
The website says the EPA’s Emerging Pathogen Policy states that “if an existing EPA registered disinfectant has a kill claim against a similar virus, it shall be considered suitable for disinfection against the emerging pathogen,” in this case COVID-19.
The company website says the first step of the two-part process is effective against viruses similar to the coronavirus, in which case the Emerging Pathogen Policy would apply.
West Haven police Sgt. Craig Thompson said the company disinfected about a dozen cruisers – the department’s active fleet – with the two-step process that keeps working on microbes after it’s sprayed.
It’s a huge improvement over officers having to clean their cars with Clorox wipes after a shift, because not only is the wipe technique time-consuming, but the wipes, as well as disinfectant sprays, are scarce, even to the Police Department, Thompson said.
“All the officers on the street on a daily basis are appreciative” (of the treatment), Thompson said, noting they face exposure on many calls. He said the department is considering having the process implemented in the building, as well.
Christian Mead of West Haven, one of the partners, said the group of entrepreneurs has bought distributorship rights in Connecticut to the product.
While the EPA-approved product stops short of declaring it kills COVID-19, Mead said it has been shown to kill another form of coronavirus.
“The new normal is that consumers need to feel protected,” Mead said. “We think cleanliness will be a part of everyone’s business going forward.”
Rishi Narang, developer of the 200,000-square-foot East Rock Center at 285 Nicholl St. in New Haven, a mixed-use building, recently had Rx Surface Protection Solutions apply the product to common areas, doorknobs, hand rails, bathroom fixtures and other items people touch.
“It sounds like it has a lot of potential for health and safety,” Narang said. “It brings peace of mind that something is on there that’s helping.”
Mead said the product, Perma Safe Protective Coatings, is a two-step process in which the first disinfects, sanitizes and kills 99.999 percent of all germs, bacteria and viruses. In the second part of the process, an anti-microbial kills bacteria continuously and inhibits growth and spread of bacteria and microorganisms.
Mead said the second part works by creating a “spike-like structure” at the “microbial level” that’s like a “bed of nails” for bacteria. He said the application is “semi-permanent” so they don’t know how many months it will last, but testing can be done to see whether another application is warranted.
Mead said Rx Surface Protection Solutions is an installer and distributor.
The seed for the local business came out of discussions at work with his uncle, Alex Jones, during the first two weeks of Connecticut’s pandemic shutdown.
Mead works at his uncle’s business, Automobilia Auto Salon, a car detailing service on Island Lane, and the two were discussing systems that contain antimicrobial surface protectors for car interior parts that are touched, such as radio system screens.
They later were meeting with a group of others they know in the car industry to talk about an event and wound up talking about applying surface protectors to other situations and surfaces.
Mead said his uncle “connected the dots” and a partnership of five was born.
“Every partner brings something unique to the table,” Mead said.
So far, in addition to the city’s police cruisers, the company has done other vehicles, restaurants and other spaces.
“It was nice for us to be able to kind of give back,” Mead said of donating services to WHPD. “Everybody’s battling, ‘How do we keep our officers safe?”’
Mead said he hates to think of officers having to wipe down their vehicles with disinfectant wipes.
Adam Bajko, one of the owners of Chip’s Family Restaurants, had the antimicrobial process done at their Orange eatery and corporate offices next door. They are likely to follow suit at their other locations in Fairfield, Southbury and Southington.
“We want everybody to be at ease and know as you step into our restaurants we’re taking your safety” as top priority, Bajko said. “We want to go above and beyond.”
Mead said prices for applying the product vary, in part by amount of space and whether the vehicle or building needs a thorough cleaning first, as the space must be extremely clean prior to being treated.
An automobile could start at $99 or go to $290 with cleaning, he said. While Mead would not publicly state a per-square-foot price, he estimated that a restaurant of 800 square feet to 1,000 square feet with full cleaning might be around $1,000. Application in a house could range from $500 to $5,000, he said.
The company developed a business model, website, Facebook and Instagram accounts in five weeks, Mead said.
For more information on the service call Automobilia at 203-795-3998 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Rx Surface Protection Solutions website.