American Airlines will use Allied BioScience Inc.’s new SurfaceWise2 on each of its aircraft, the first antiviral surface coating approved by the EPA to continuously protect against Covid-19 with a single application for up to seven days.
Andrew Wheeler, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said the entity was issuing the emergency declaration for SurfaceWise2, which allows Texas Methodist Health Group and American Airlines to use the product in some airport facilities and planes. The agency will also authorize its use at certain Texas-based Total Orthopedics Sports & Spine locations.
“This is an innovative step that is expected to provide more durable protection in public spaces, increasing consumer confidence to resume normal air travel and other activities,” Wheeler said in a conference call.
Surfacewise works by covering the surfaces it is sprayed on, and continues to kill viruses and bacteria that land on them, even days after its first application, including the virus that causes covid-19, according to Maha El-Sayed, chief scientist at Allied BioScience.
The EPA issued the emergency exemption under the federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, while the Allied BioScience company will continue to seek a non-emergency approval for the product to allow for more widespread continued use.
Emergency approval could help restore traveler confidence amid this pandemic. Many airlines have followed a variety of biosecurity measures to ensure passenger safety, yet the industry remains in crisis due to travel restrictions.
EPA’s waiver program can only be offered in response to requests from states and other federal agencies. While current approval is limited to Texas, Wheeler noted that other states and facilities may be able to apply for emergency approval. That could allow the product to be used in schools and other buildings.
“We have not granted a general authorization. We need to look at the uses on each surface, but the possibility exists,” Wheeler said.
More information on Bloomberg.com