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Florida college tries disinfectant fog for coronavirus

Andy Fillmore
Correspondent
Winter Haven News Chief

A team with the Florida State Firefighters Association demonstrated a new technology in the fight against COVID-19 and other diseases by disinfecting the administrative building and dormitories at the Florida State Fire College on Monday.

Fire officials watched as a light fog spread through classrooms and administrative offices at the Fire College in Lowell, northwest of Ocala. The disinfectant composed on water and salt has been shown effective on other viruses and is being tested on SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID-19.

The treatment, built on technology developed by the U.S. Department of Energy, is patented by Batelle Memorial Institute and marketed as Paerosol.

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The hope is that it is more effective than wiping down surfaces because the fog can reach areas not easily accessible.

The fog has been approved by federal safety officials as save to breath for up to eigh hours. And it won’t harm electronics, according to David Pobiak, with Paerosol Global Partners.

Units the size of a large suitcase, called micro aerosol generators, pump out the fog.

“A 2,000 square foot home could be treated with two MAG units in under an hour initially.” Pobiak said in a phone interview. He said recurring treatments could be reduce to perhaps 30 minutes.

Pobiak said it has been proved effective on H1N1 (swine flu), H5N1 (bird flu) and antibiotic-resistant staph infections. Laboratory tests indicate it is also effective against the new coronavirus.

The firefighters’ association has formed a team to respond to requests for Paerosol from private businesses and individuals. Part of the proceeds will go to a benevolent disaster response fund, according to Robert Amick, executive director of the Florida State Firefighters Association.

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Pobiak stated a 2,000 square foot restaurant, for example, would cost about $300 for an application. The estimated square foot cost is about .15 cents, although larger areas should drop the coat to about .11 to .14 cent a square foot.

“We partnered with the Florida State Firefighter’s Association in an effort to inform statewide fire and police departments on how effective the Paraesol platform can be in their day-to-day operations,” Pobiak said.

FSFA, based in Avon Park, Florida, can be reached at 800-883-4817 or online at floridastatefirefightersassociation.com.

This story originally published to ocala.com, and was shared to other Florida newspapers in the USA TODAY Network - Florida.