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article imageIs hypochlorous acid key to reducing coronavirus risk? Special

By Tim Sandle     Nov 5, 2020 in Science
One tool for battling coronavirus may rest with a computerized device that creates a hypoallergenic healthcare-grade disinfectant, TK60 and a multi-surface cleaner, FC+ through a patented electrolysis process.
Rayne Guest is the founder and CEO of R-Water, and she is an advocate for safe disinfecting and cleaning products for over a decade. In relation to the coronavirus pandemic, Guest is recommending the use of hypochlorous acid, a chlorine base disinfectant that can be applied to surfaces in an aerosol form.
Digital Journal: What are the risks from SARS-CoV-2 on surfaces?
Rayne Guest: When pathogens are on a surface, they are readily available to transmit to our hands and personal items such as face masks, cell phones, books, and purses. We all know how important hand hygiene is, and COVID-19 has only reinforced it. In recent months, we have been warned to not shake hands and to wash our hands frequently and vigorously because touching our eyes, nose, and mouth with dirty hands is a quick way to contract illness.
What is dangerously being overlooked is just how easily SARS-CoV-2 can transmit to masks, the same masks that we are putting directly on our faces and wearing for hours at a time. These personal masks are handled throughout the day and often set down on contaminated restaurant tables, kitchen counters, desks, car consoles, and the like. These surfaces are generally not disinfected properly. In addition to pathogens, the surfaces may hold harmful chemical residues that have not been rinsed away. In a healthcare setting, masks are frequently replaced, unlike those worn in the civilian world, which are often used repeatedly. It is a strong possibility that the risk of infection from contaminated masks is being underestimated.
DJ: Which types of disinfectant products are most effective?
Guest: For disinfecting purposes, you generally want chlorine-based products. It has long been known and accepted that resistant strains of pathogens cannot form against chlorine-based products such as bleach. There are, however, different species of chlorine and one is better at killing germs than the others. The dominant species in bleach is hypochlorite, which is not that great at killing germs. The part of bleach that kills germs most effectively is hypochlorous acid (HOCl). When HOCl is produced at an ideal pH with low salt content, it does a far better job than bleach and does so at a much lower concentration. It is also nontoxic to humans and does not damage materials.
DJ: What is TK60 solution and how does it work?
Guest:TK60 is 99.998% water and 200 ppm (parts per million) HOCl produced at a pH of 3-5, where HOCl is the dominant species. TK60 is proven effective against bacteria, viruses, and spores at such a low ppm concentration because we produce it in a pure form for our customers.
HOCl has a neutral charge, so it easily passes through cell walls, destroying the cells of pathogens it encounters. It is also a strong oxidizer which aids in the destruction of pathogens due to oxidative stress.
DJ: How was the disinfectant developed?
Guest:HOCl is not new. It is what our white blood cells produce to fight pathogens. It has been studied for decades. What sets R-Water apart is our patented process technology and process control. Our EPA-regulated device features a complex electronic control unit to monitor usage, internal component health, and regulate solution production so that our customers receive optimal and consistent solutions batch after batch.
DJ: How have you assessed the virucidal properties? What is the contact time?
Guest:Microchem, an independent laboratory, recently completed extensive tests and confirmed that TK60 eliminates 99.997% of human coronavirus with only a 30 second contact time. Contact time is the period that a product must remain wet on a surface to be effective. TK60 performs four times faster than Lysol, and 20 times faster than most disinfectants which must sit wet for 10 minutes. Unfortunately, in establishments like restaurants, 10 minutes is not a realistic amount of time to keep a table wet and empty so that a disinfectant has time to work. Also, people have a natural tendency to spray and wipe rather than adhere to contact times, which is one of the reasons we are seeing a rebound in COVID cases.
DJ: Is the product affected by ambient temperature or humidity?
Guest:TK60 is not significantly impacted by ambient temperature or humidity if it is stored in a sealed container. One precaution to keep in mind is that HOCl will degrade in the presence of UV light, so containers should be stored out of direct sunlight.
DJ: What safety measures need to be taken when using the product, and how did you assess these?
Guest:Any time your task is cleaning and disinfecting, you want to wear gloves to protect yourself against germs. HOCl has been studied for some time. At 200 ppm, the concentration of TK60, there are no health risks with normal use, as evidenced by all zeros on safety data sheet. HOCI is produced by our white blood cells, so our body recognizes it. At 200 ppm, HOCl is also listed by the FDA as Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS), and is listed as being safe for use on food-contact surfaces by the USDA without the requirement of a rinse step.
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