Story at a glance

  • The nontoxic surface coating manufactured by Allied BioScience is said to kill pathogens within two hours of application and keep working against them for up to seven days.
  • The coating can be applied to surfaces such as seats, tray tables and overhead bin doors.
  • The EPA exemption only allows the use of the product at American Airlines airport facilities in Texas.

American Airlines will be the first airline to use a new disinfecting surface coating that kills coronaviruses for up to seven days, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 

The EPA on Monday issued an emergency exemption to Texas to allow the use of SurfaceWise2 by both American Airlines and Texas-based Total Orthopedics Sports & Spine. 


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The nontoxic surface coating manufactured by Allied BioScience is said to kill pathogens within two hours of application and keep working against them for up to seven days. The coating can be applied to surfaces such as seats, tray tables and overhead bin doors. American Airlines said the product will be used along with routine cleaning. 

The EPA exemption only allows the use of the product at American Airlines airport facilities in Texas. The product could become widely available if Allied BioScience is able to get nonemergency approval from the agency in the coming months. 

“After carefully reviewing the available data and information, the agency has determined that the product helps to address the current national emergency. This product is expected to provide longer-lasting protection in public spaces, increasing consumer confidence in resuming normal air travel and other activities,” the EPA said. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the virus is believed to be spread primarily through close contact with others, but it may be possible for a person to become infected with the virus by touching a surface or object that is contaminated and then touching their own mouth or nose. 

The move comes as airlines are struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic and working to reassure travelers that it is safe to fly. 

On Tuesday, American Airlines announced that it plans to cut 19,000 employees in October when the federal aid carriers received expires. Airlines are prohibited from firing or laying off any employees until Oct. 1 under the terms of the pandemic relief funding the industry received from the federal government. 

Other airlines have also warned about layoffs come Oct. 1. 

 

Published on Aug 25, 2020